Gaza: La continuation de la Solution finale par d’autres moyens (The continuation of genocide by other means: Will the world ever understand Hamas’s real objective?)

20 août, 2014
C’est le djihad final Groupons-nous et demain L’Internationale sera le genre humain … Air connu
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique aspire à l’accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu, quel que soit le temps nécessaire. L’Apôtre de Dieu -que Dieu lui donne bénédiction et paix- a dit : "L’Heure ne viendra pas avant que les musulmans n’aient combattu les Juifs (c’est à dire que les musulmans ne les aient tués), avant que les Juifs ne se fussent cachés derrière les pierres et les arbres et que les pierres et les arbres eussent dit : ‘Musulman, serviteur de Dieu ! Un Juif se cache derrière moi, viens et tue-le. Charte du Hamas (article 7)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique croit que la Palestine est un Waqf islamique consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jugement Dernier. Pas une seule parcelle ne peut en être dilapidée ou abandonnée à d’autres. Aucun pays arabe, président arabe ou roi arabe, ni tous les rois et présidents arabes réunis, ni une organisation même palestinienne n’a le droit de le faire. La Palestine est un Waqf musulman consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Qui peut prétendre avoir le droit de représenter les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier ? Tel est le statut de la terre de Palestine dans la Charia, et il en va de même pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam et devenues terres de Waqf dès leur conquête, pour être consacrées à toutes les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Il en est ainsi depuis que les chefs des armées islamiques ont conquis les terres de Syrie et d’Irak et ont demandé au Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, s’ils devaient partager ces terres entre les soldats ou les laisser à leurs propriétaires. Suite à des consultations et des discussions entre le Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, et les compagnons du Prophète, Allah le bénisse, il fut décidé que la terre soit laissée à ses propriétaires pour qu’ils profitent de ses fruits. Cependant, la propriété véritable et la terre même doit être consacrée aux seuls musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Ceux qui se trouvent sur ces terres peuvent uniquement profiter de ses fruits. Ce waqf persiste tant que le Ciel et la Terre existent. Toute procédure en contradiction avec la Charia islamique en ce qui concerne la Palestine est nulle et non avenue.« C’est la vérité infaillible. Célèbre le nom d’Allah le Très-Haut » (Coran, LVI, 95-96). Charte du Hamas (article 11)
Comme le Hamas le fait savoir à qui veut, il est braqué sur « la fin de l’occupation de la Palestine » – autrement dit mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël. Malheureusement, trop peu de gens le comprennent. Naturellement consternés par la mort et la dévastation dans la bande de Gaza, beaucoup de gens dans le monde, l’homme de la rue comme les dirigeants politiques, confondent la cause et la conséquence. Le Hamas ne cherche pas la liberté pour le peuple de Gaza quand il exige la « levée du siège », un port et un aéroport, et quand il tire des roquettes parce que ses exigences ne sont pas respectées. Il est, au contraire, à la recherche de la capacité de poursuivre son objectif de rayer Israël et donc de bloquer toutes ces pénibles restrictions sur sa capacité à construire une machine de guerre encore plus puissante. Le blocus israélo-égyptien n’est pas antérieur à la saisie violente de Gaza par le Hamas en 2007 ; il a été imposé après que les islamistes en aient pris le contrôle, et serait supprimé si la sécurité d’Israël n’était pas menacée par le Hamas et ses compagnons islamistes. Vous voulez alléger les souffrances des Israéliens ordinaires mais aussi des Gazaouis ordinaires ? Mettre fin au Hamas. Vous voulez au contraire leur assurer une plus grande souffrance ? Levez le blocus avec un Hamas toujours aux commandes. Effusions de sang garanties… (…) Mais c’est seulement si le Hamas croit que sa survie est en danger qu’il mettra un terme au feu. Et il faudrait une opération militaire beaucoup plus importante que le gouvernement israélien, conscient de ses conséquences en pertes probables, se prépare peut-être à mettre en place. Il faudrait aussi une évaluation bien différente du conflit par la communauté internationale – moins partiale et plus ingénieuse – afin de fournir un soutien plus fiable à Israël. (…)  le Hamas (…) a signé un gouvernement d’unité avec Abbas au printemps dernier comme une étape vers la prise du pouvoir de l’Autorité palestinienne. En même temps, comme le Shin Bet l’a révélé lundi, il se préparait à une série d’attaques terroristes contre des cibles israéliennes, dans un complot élaboré visant à favoriser une troisième intifada et à renverser Abbas. Le Hamas ne se mettra jamais dans une position docile par rapport à Abbas. Au détriment des habitants de Gaza et des Israéliens, le Hamas n’est pas prêt à s’en remettre docilement à Abbas ni à personne. Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui du terrorisme. David Horowitz

Attention: une Solution finale peut en cacher une autre !

Alors que fidèle à lui-même le Hamas a repris, de son aveu même, sa véritable raison d’être …

A savoir la "fin de l’occupation de la Palestine" …

Qui, comme le rappelle The Times of Israel, est prêt à comprendre que sa revendication du lever du blocus égypto-israélien censé motiver ses attaques …

N’est autre, à l’instar de ses partenaires du djihad final, que la continuation par d’autres moyens de la Solution finale au problème palestinien ?

Un Hamas cynique et difficile à décourager

Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui de mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël par le biais du terrorisme

David Horowitz

The Times of Israel

20 août 2014

David est le fondateur et le rédacteur en chef du Times of Israel. Il était auparavant rédacteur en chef du … [Plus]

Jusqu’à un certain point, il pourrait être utile d’entendre ce que le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu a dit depuis le début de l’opération « Bordure protectrice » il y a déjà six semaines : Israël doit se préparer à un long conflit.

Alors que les tirs de roquettes sur Beer Sheva mardi après-midi marquaient la dernière série de violations de la trêve du Hamas, l’idée qu’une sorte d’arrangement durable allait bientôt émerger des négociations indirectes au Caire (une notion largement médiatisée ces derniers jours) a été brisée à nouveau, et de manière brutale.

Netanyahu n’est pas sur le point d’approuver un accord qui donnerait au Hamas une quelconque récompense diplomatique suite aux tirs de 3 500 roquettes sur Israël, à la construction d’un réseau complexe de tunnels d’attaque sous la frontière, et à sa volonté de garder les citoyens de Gaza – et dans une certaine mesure ceux d’Israël – comme des otages de sa machine de guerre élaborée.

Le problème du Premier ministre – et d’Israël – est que le Hamas est encore trop fort, et que le Hamas sera toujours trop cynique, pour être dissuadé par la réponse d’Israël à ces attaques incessantes. Le Hamas a perdu des dizaines de ses tunnels, et peut-être 1 000 de ses hommes armés, et a plaidé pour un cessez-le-feu, croyant apparemment pouvoir négocier une solution diplomatique plus satisfaisante que ce que lui avait coûté le face-à-face militaire.

Mais la plupart de ses « combattants d’élite » demeurent encore en vie. Le Hamas possède encore des milliers de roquettes ; il est capable d’en fabriquer à mi-conflit.

Son leadership politique local est encore sain et sauf dans le sous-sol de Gaza. Son leadership à l’étranger est, lui, encore en meilleure forme, dorloté par le Qatar. Et il ne se soucie pas le moins du monde de la souffrance que son extrémisme islamiste violent apporte aux habitants de Gaza (une proportion très importante d’entre eux avaient voté pour le Hamas aux élections législatives relativement démocratiques de 2006).

Comme le Hamas le fait savoir à qui veut, il est braqué sur « la fin de l’occupation de la Palestine » – autrement dit mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël. Malheureusement, trop peu de gens le comprennent. Naturellement consternés par la mort et la dévastation dans la bande de Gaza, beaucoup de gens dans le monde, l’homme de la rue comme les dirigeants politiques, confondent la cause et la conséquence.

Le Hamas ne cherche pas la liberté pour le peuple de Gaza quand il exige la « levée du siège », un port et un aéroport, et quand il tire des roquettes parce que ses exigences ne sont pas respectées. Il est, au contraire, à la recherche de la capacité de poursuivre son objectif de rayer Israël et donc de bloquer toutes ces pénibles restrictions sur sa capacité à construire une machine de guerre encore plus puissante.

Le blocus israélo-égyptien n’est pas antérieur à la saisie violente de Gaza par le Hamas en 2007 ; il a été imposé après que les islamistes en aient pris le contrôle, et serait supprimé si la sécurité d’Israël n’était pas menacée par le Hamas et ses compagnons islamistes.

Vous voulez alléger les souffrances des Israéliens ordinaires mais aussi des Gazaouis ordinaires ? Mettre fin au Hamas. Vous voulez au contraire leur assurer une plus grande souffrance ? Levez le blocus avec un Hamas toujours aux commandes. Effusions de sang garanties…

A ce jour, Netanyahu a rappelé ses négociateurs du Caire – parce qu’Israël ne négocierait pas sous le feu – et l’armée israélienne répond aux tirs de roquettes du Hamas par des frappes ciblées dans la bande de Gaza. Si les tirs de roquettes se poursuivent, Israël continuera à riposter.

Mais c’est seulement si le Hamas croit que sa survie est en danger qu’il mettra un terme au feu. Et il faudrait une opération militaire beaucoup plus importante que le gouvernement israélien, conscient de ses conséquences en pertes probables, se prépare peut-être à mettre en place. Il faudrait aussi une évaluation bien différente du conflit par la communauté internationale – moins partiale et plus ingénieuse – afin de fournir un soutien plus fiable à Israël.

Israël a cherché à atteindre un résultat similaire par le biais des négociations indirectes au Caire ces derniers jours – pousser, en alliance avec l’Egypte, un arrangement qui donnerait à l’Autorité palestinienne de Mahmoud Abbas un rôle de supervision dans la réhabilitation de Gaza, et laisser au Hamas le rôle du « destructeur ».

Bien sur, avec la reprise, mardi, des tirs de roquettes, le Hamas est enclin à jouer ce rôle. Il a signé un gouvernement d’unité avec Abbas au printemps dernier comme une étape vers la prise du pouvoir de l’Autorité palestinienne. En même temps, comme le Shin Bet l’a révélé lundi, il se préparait à une série d’attaques terroristes contre des cibles israéliennes, dans un complot élaboré visant à favoriser une troisième intifada et à renverser Abbas.

Le Hamas ne se mettra jamais dans une position docile par rapport à Abbas. Au détriment des habitants de Gaza et des Israéliens, le Hamas n’est pas prêt à s’en remettre docilement à Abbas ni à personne. Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui du terrorisme et comme tous les autres groupes terroristes, il est difficile de le mettre à mal.

Comme l’a dit Netanyahu il y a six semaines, Israël devrait se préparer à un conflit prolongé. Plus long, peut-on craindre, que ce qu’il avait lui-même envisagé.


Islam: C’est l’Apocalypse, imbécile ! (This is the final jihad: It’s the book of Revelation, stupid !)

18 août, 2014
Puis je vis descendre du ciel un ange, qui avait la clef de l’abîme et une grande chaîne dans sa main. Il saisit le dragon, le serpent ancien, qui est le diable et Satan, et il le lia pour mille ans. Il le jeta dans l’abîme, ferma et scella l’entrée au-dessus de lui, afin qu’il ne séduisît plus les nations, jusqu’à ce que les mille ans fussent accomplis. Après cela, il faut qu’il soit délié pour un peu de temps. Et je vis des trônes; et à ceux qui s’y assirent fut donné le pouvoir de juger. Et je vis les âmes de ceux qui avaient été décapités à cause du témoignage de Jésus et à cause de la parole de Dieu, et de ceux qui n’avaient pas adoré la bête ni son image, et qui n’avaient pas reçu la marque sur leur front et sur leur main. Ils revinrent à la vie, et ils régnèrent avec Christ pendant mille ans. Les autres morts ne revinrent point à la vie jusqu’à ce que les mille ans fussent accomplis. C’est la première résurrection. Heureux et saints ceux qui ont part à la première résurrection! La seconde mort n’a point de pouvoir sur eux; mais ils seront sacrificateurs de Dieu et de Christ, et ils régneront avec lui pendant mille ans. Quand les mille ans seront accomplis, Satan sera relâché de sa prison. Et il sortira pour séduire les nations qui sont aux quatre coins de la terre, Gog et Magog, afin de les rassembler pour la guerre; leur nombre est comme le sable de la mer. Et ils montèrent sur la surface de la terre, et ils investirent le camp des saints et la ville bien-aimée. Mais un feu descendit du ciel, et les dévora. Apocalypse 20: 1-9
C’est la lutte finale Groupons-nous et demain L’Internationale Sera le genre humain … Refrain bien connu
Le soir, vous dites: Il fera beau, car le ciel est rouge; et le matin: Il y aura de l’orage aujourd’hui, car le ciel est d’un rouge sombre. Vous savez discerner l’aspect du ciel, et vous ne pouvez discerner les signes des temps. Jésus (Matthieu 16 : 2-3)
Jusqu’à présent, les textes de l’Apocalypse faisaient rire. Tout l’effort de la pensée moderne a été de séparer le culturel du naturel. La science consiste à montrer que les phénomènes culturels ne sont pas naturels et qu’on se trompe forcément si on mélange les tremblements de terre et les rumeurs de guerre, comme le fait le texte de l’Apocalypse. Mais, tout à coup, la science prend conscience que les activités de l’homme sont en train de détruire la nature. C’est la science qui revient à l’Apocalypse. René Girard
J’annonce au monde entier, sans la moindre hésitation, que si les dévoreurs du monde se dressent contre notre religion, nous nous dresserons contre leur monde entier et n’auront de cesse avant d’avoir annihilé la totalité d’entre eux. Ou nous tous obtiendrons la liberté, ou nous opterons pour la liberté plus grande encore du martyre. Ou nous applaudirons la victoire de l’Islam dans le monde, ou nous tous irons vers la vie éternelle et le martyre. Dans les deux cas, la victoire et le succès nous sont assurés. Ayatollah Khomeiny
La possibilité d’une annihilation existe. Le projet sioniste entier est apocalyptique. Il existe dans un environnement hostile et dans un certain sens son existence n’est pas raisonnable. (…) Oui, je pense à Armageddon. C’est possible. Dans les vingt prochaines années, il pourrait y avoir une guerre atomique ici. Benny Morris
Dans l’Islam, de même que dans le Judaïsme et le Christianisme, certaines croyances portent sur une bataille cosmique marquant la fin des temps – Gog et Magog, l’Antéchrist, Armageddon et, pour les Musulmans chiites, le retour tant attendu de l’Imam caché, qui doit déboucher sur la victoire finale des forces du bien sur celles du mal, quelle qu’en soit la définition. Il est évident qu’Ahmadinejad et ses adeptes croient que ce temps est venu et que la lutte finale est déjà entamée, et même bien avancée. Bernard Lewis
Vous comprendrez d’autant mieux la perplexité de Jacques Chirac qui a entendu, un jour de 2003, George W. Bush lui expliquer qu’il fallait intervenir militairement en Irak, parce que Gog et Magog y étaient à l’œuvre. Quand il livre ses convictions les plus intimes sur la politique proche-orientale, George W. Bush ne pense donc pas au pétrole ou à des bases susceptibles d’accueillir ses GI. Il ne parle ni d’économie ni de géostratégie. Il réagit comme un croyant qui attend que se réalise une prophétie biblique… (…) Comme ni Jacques Chirac ni ses services n’ont compris la référence du président américain, Paris s’est mis au travail. George W. Bush appartenant à la mouvance chrétienne évangélique, l’Élysée s’est orienté vers les protestants de France, qui ont transmis la requête à Thomas Römer. Jocelyn Rochat
Dans le vocabulaire politique, l’expression « millénarisme » peut servir à désigner, de manière métaphorique, une forme de doctrine aspirant à une révolution radicale, qui aboutirait à la mise en place définitive d’un ordre social supposé plus juste, et sans commune mesure avec ce qui a existé jusqu’à présent. Dans cette acception, le terme a pu servir à qualifier aussi bien le communisme que le nazisme. Wikipedia
It is a series of images that come out of the Book of Revelation. There is a Millenarian idea, of an impending calamity, that something unspeakable is about to occur. (…) At the end of the First World War, these currents in poetry, from the romantic to the symbolist poets at the end of the century and the beginning of the new century, finally convert themselves into a series of political movements, which are mass movements against the idea of liberalism. They are movements of rebellion against the belief in the many instead of the one, against the idea that life should be divided into a series of spheres — the public and the private, the state and society, the civil and the religious — and at some level, in different ways, they are movements of rebellion against the idea of rational analysis. Instead, they are movements in favor of the one, the solid, the granite, of authority, as opposed to rational analysis — sometimes of mysticism, but in any case of authority. These movements were founded by Lenin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, the leaders of the Iron Guard in Romania, various figures from the extreme right in France, and through every single country in Europe in some version or another — the Bolshevik movement on the Left, all of the other movements on the Right. The movements were utterly different one from the other, and the Left and the Right hated each other, and sometimes the Right and the Right hated each other. But (…)  In all of these cases, the similarities consisted of a belief in a deep myth, the Ur myth of the twentieth century and into our own time. The name of this myth is the Book of Revelation. It is a variation on the themes of the symbolist poets. It takes the idea of transgressive rebellion, which the earlier Romantics had already come up with, of murder and rebellion as satanic acts of rebellion against liberal society, the conversion of this idea into the mythology that you see in the Book of Revelation, and then finally these political movements convert that same notion into political doctrines in this way. The story in the Book of Revelation says: There is a people of God; the people of God are being afflicted and polluted by forces from within their own society, who worship at the synagogue of Satan. At the same time, the people of God are being afflicted by cosmic foes from abroad. The people of God who are oppressed rise up in rebellion against these polluting forces from within and against the cosmic forces from abroad. The name of this war is Armageddon, and it lasts, according to St. John, the author of Revelation, one hour. And at the end of the war, with all of those foes dispatched, the reign of Christ is established and lasts a thousand years. It is a perfect, stable society with no polluting elements. It is the millennium. (…) But the totalitarian ideal also arose in two other versions, which were distinctly not European. The radical Islamist movement — that is, the notion of Islam as a revolutionary political movement, not just as a religion — was founded in 1928 with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Pan-Arabist movement in its most radical version, the Baath, was founded formally in 1943 in Damascus. (…)  There is a people of God. The people of God should be described as the “true Muslims” in the case of the Islamists, or as the “true Arabs” in the case of the Baath. The people of God are afflicted by internal corruptors within Muslim society. These internal corruptors are the Jews or the Masons or the Muslim hypocrites. The people of God are afflicted by sinister external foes, Western imperialists or the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The people of God will resist these internal foes and external foes in a gigantic war of Armageddon. This war will be the liberation of Jerusalem or it will be the jihad. Afterwards the reign of purity will be established and this reign of purity is described in the case of both of those movements in the same way: it is the re-resurrection of the Caliphate of the seventh century in the years after the Prophet Mohammed. The Caliphate is described by each of these movements in a slightly different way. For the Islamists, it means the reinstating of Shar’iah or Qur’anic law. For the Baathists the emphasis is secular; it is the recreating, the resurrecting, of the Arab empire when the Arab empire was on the march. Finally, these two movements have lacked for nothing in the realm of practical achievement – killing millions. In the last twenty years, several million people have been killed in the course of the Iran-Iraq war, which pitted one of these movements against the other — the mass human wave suicide attacks on the part of the Iranian Islamists against the cult of cruelty, and of chemical weapons on the part of the Baathists. It is estimated that between one and a half million and two million people were killed in Sudan; 100,000 are thought killed in Algeria over the last several years. (…) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years. Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?” And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things. All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions. Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis. The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas. The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists. I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas. Paul Berman

Attention: une lutte finale peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où, entre deux parties de golf ou condamnations d’Israël, les autruches qui nous gouvernent semblent enfin prendre conscience de la menace djihadiste pour la planète entière …

Comment ne pas repenser, avec Paul Berman, au mythe qui, du communisme au nazisme et aujourd’hui à l‘islamisme, soutend l’ensemble de ces mouvements totalitaristes …

A savoir le mythe millénariste du livre de l’Apocalypse de Saint Jean ?

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, Joanne J. Myers
Carnegie Council
April 15, 2003

Introduction

JOANNE MYERS: On behalf of the Carnegie Council I would like to welcome members and guests to our Author in the Afternoon program.

Today we are delighted to have Paul Berman, a writer who has been especially recognized for his penetrating philosophical perspectives on a vast array of social and cultural topics. His latest work, Terror and Liberalism, focuses on a subject that is generating a great deal of interest, as it is the first book to address the political/philosophical dimensions of the current conflict found in Islamic fundamentalism and on the War on Terror.

I have asked Jack Diggins to introduce Mr. Berman. Jack is a Distinguished Professor of American History at the City University of New York. He has also taught at Princeton, Cambridge, and the University of London. Jack has published a number of books dealing with American politics and history, including Up From Communism: The Liberal Persuasion; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and the Challenge of the American Past; The Promise of Pragmatism; The Rise and Fall of the American Left, and The Proud Decades, America in War and Peace, 1941-1960. Just by listening to these titles you can easily conclude that Jack has concerned himself with, among other things, American intellectual history, liberalism, pragmatism, and the American past and its influence on the present, which makes him the ideal person to introduce our guest today.

JACK DIGGINS: Thank you. I am very pleased to be here and to introduce my old friend, Paul Berman.

I came to know Paul many years ago when I was living on the West Coast and there was an essay in the Village Voice on the philosopher Sidney Hook. I thought I was the only person in the United States who admired Sidney Hook, but there was one other, Paul Berman. Hook was a leading philosopher of pragmatism and Marxism and became an ardent anti-communist, which in the 1960s was not politically correct, at least on the campuses.

And then, watching television, the Iraq war, the aftermath of the war, and seeing the scenes of fists in the air and anti-American statements and rumors of Baath police being lynched and the scenes of looting, I said to myself, “This is not going to bother Paul.”

Many years ago Paul was with me in California and said, “I’m going to take a trip to Tijuana.” At that time, if you went to Tijuana and parked your car for ten minutes, the tires were gone. But Paul came back just smiling and praising it as a land of moral solidarity and all the people with hearts of gold. I couldn’t help remember the last time I was there I was taken to the police station because I refused to pay a cop a $50 bribe for crossing the street the wrong way. But Paul is so much more optimistic than I am, and maybe he is right.

With the fall of Communism, he and I would debate every day, and I would side with Gorbachev and he would side with Yeltsin or anyone who let the whole system come down. Paul describes himself as a democratic socialist, but deep down he has an anarchist impulse and he does think that out of chaos will come freedom. I am a little bit more cautious.

But the fall of Communism was, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, the greatest peaceful transfer of power in modern history, and Paul was right about it, and perhaps he will be right about his position on the Iraq war.

Some people will be curious why I dedicated a book that is about the great prudent conservative President-statesman John Adams to a radical activist from the 1960s. People wonder if there is an incongruence there. But I would like to read you the last sentence of my acknowledgement: “In the 1790s John Adams reflected on events in France, in the 1980s Paul Berman on events in Nicaragua. Both faced the wrath of some of their own friends for telling us that a revolution without representation is destined to devour itself. Truth dared to speak before its time.”

Remarks

PAUL BERMAN: I’d like to thank the Carnegie Council for inviting me to speak and my dear friend, the slyly brilliant Professor Diggins, for this introduction.

I would like to offer ten propositions with which our present crisis could be observed.

1) In the nineteenth century, the belief arose that the secret of human progress had been discovered and had been proved to be correct. This secret was thought to be a belief in the many instead of the one, a belief that each aspect of life should be allowed to remain in its own sphere — the public and the private, the state and society, the religious and the civil. There was a belief that society ought to govern itself through rational analysis.

Many different philosophies and political movements expressed this idea. None of them, none of the large ones, expressed it fully consistently. Marx had some aspects of this idea. The French Revolution stood for some aspects and could not quite get the other aspects right. Thomas Jefferson stood for a very pure version of this idea and yet couldn’t quite straighten out the part regarding human slavery. Each separate movement in the nineteenth century, or in the early eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, had some aspect of it and some contradiction which was yet to be worked out.

And yet, in spite of the contradictions, there was consensus about general principles which were seen to be working in some of the societies that we think of as the West and which were regarded by some people in all regions around the world as the secret of human progress universally, not just in the places where they were seen to be prospering at that moment.

There was among a very large number of people, a general feeling of underlying optimism, which you can see in many of the writers of the nineteenth century, in many of the doctrines that came to dominate political movements.

2) At the same time, there was reason to be suspicious of these doctrines. There was a whole series of criticisms about hypocrisies or inconsistencies or lies that were concealed within it. Marx was the great prophet of this.

But beyond these doctrines of suspicion, there were also some elements that not even Marx discussed, something that went beyond exploitation and hypocrisy. This could be seen by the late-nineteenth century in King Leopold’s war in the Congo or in German Southwest Africa at the turn of the century, where the very countries, Germany and Belgium, who were among the principal exemplars of the doctrine of human progress, were in some other aspect of their national activity somehow engaged in the most grotesque genocide. The combination of the sense of optimism and the genocidal atrocities, seemed to be beyond the capability of the liberal imagination to conceive.

In the First World War, these darkest aspects, which had already been visible in the Congo and in Southwest Africa, finally rolled back across Europe. What had been unimaginable throughout the nineteenth century finally took place in Europe itself, which was mass death on the most colossal scale, nine or ten million people killed for reasons that were ultimately unintelligible. Each country went into the war with a logical set of reasons instead of treaties and alliances. The final outcome was a catastrophe beyond that which anyone would have or did predict.

3) From the nineteenth century and onward, a series of rebellions against this prevailing liberal optimism arose. Some of these rebellions are particularly worth observing.

First, there was a rebellion within the romantic literary tradition, in romantic poetry. An important sign of this was Victor Hugo’s verse play Hernani in 1830, which already broached certain themes. The play ends with the attempted assassination of the King of Spain and a triple suicide. The theme of murder and suicide in the context of rebellion had already been broached.

Baudelaire picks up the same theme. In the second edition of The Flowers of Evil, the inscription mentions enrolling in the rhetorical school of Satan.

And, in fact, there is a religious subtext that underlies this notion of rebellion, which is the romantic cult of Satan, which, within the literary tradition, begins to mean a cult of murder and suicide as literary postures.

Later in the nineteenth century among the poets, the religious aspect of this rebellion, of this notion of transgressive rebellion against the existing order, takes a new form. You can see it in Rimbaud and in a marvelous version in the greatest of the turn-of-the-century Spanish-language poets, Ruben Dario.

This new version is not the cult of Satan. It is a series of images that come out of the Book of Revelation. There is a Millenarian idea, of an impending calamity, that something unspeakable is about to occur. You can see it in Yeats. This idea emerges as the new religious underpinning.

There is something self-ironic about the writers who were writing about Satan but there is nothing ironic or self-ironic about the writers who were drawing on images from the Book of Revelation.

At the end of the First World War, these currents in poetry, from the romantic to the symbolist poets at the end of the century and the beginning of the new century, finally convert themselves into a series of political movements, which are mass movements against the idea of liberalism. They are movements of rebellion against the belief in the many instead of the one, against the idea that life should be divided into a series of spheres — the public and the private, the state and society, the civil and the religious — and at some level, in different ways, they are movements of rebellion against the idea of rational analysis. Instead, they are movements in favor of the one, the solid, the granite, of authority, as opposed to rational analysis — sometimes of mysticism, but in any case of authority.

These movements were founded by Lenin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, the leaders of the Iron Guard in Romania, various figures from the extreme right in France, and through every single country in Europe in some version or another — the Bolshevik movement on the Left, all of the other movements on the Right.

The movements were utterly different one from the other, and the Left and the Right hated each other, and sometimes the Right and the Right hated each other. But what I am struck by is the similarities.

4) In all of these cases, the similarities consisted of a belief in a deep myth, the Ur myth of the twentieth century and into our own time. The name of this myth is the Book of Revelation.

It is a variation on the themes of the symbolist poets. It takes the idea of transgressive rebellion, which the earlier Romantics had already come up with, of murder and rebellion as satanic acts of rebellion against liberal society, the conversion of this idea into the mythology that you see in the Book of Revelation, and then finally these political movements convert that same notion into political doctrines in this way.

The story in the Book of Revelation says: There is a people of God; the people of God are being afflicted and polluted by forces from within their own society, who worship at the synagogue of Satan. At the same time, the people of God are being afflicted by cosmic foes from abroad.

The people of God who are oppressed rise up in rebellion against these polluting forces from within and against the cosmic forces from abroad. The name of this war is Armageddon, and it lasts, according to St. John, the author of Revelation, one hour.

And at the end of the war, with all of those foes dispatched, the reign of Christ is established and lasts a thousand years. It is a perfect, stable society with no polluting elements. It is the millennium.

Each of the movements that arose in the period after World War I found a new way to tell this story. There was always a people of God. The people of God were proletariat. The people of God were the children of the Roman wolf, the Italian people. The people of God were the Catholic warriors of Christ, according to the King in Spain. The people of God were the Aryan race.

There were always polluting elements from within society, such as the bourgeoisie, or the Trotskyite wreckers, or the Jews, or the Masons, or the Communists.

There were always external foes from abroad. These were the forces of capitalist encirclement, or Anglo-American imperialism, or what Heidegger described as the “pincer pressure” of the United States and the Soviet Union pressing on the people of Germany.

There was always going to be a war, which would be a war of extermination against these external and internal foes. This war would be the class war, or the crusade in Franco’s version, or the biological war in the Nazi version.

At the end was always the perfect society, which was pictured either as a sci-fi leap into the future or as a return to the golden age of the past, usually as some version of both.

The Communist version was a leap into the future, though if you read your Marx carefully, you understand that this is also a leap into the primitive Communism of the past. And in the Soviet version there are many references to the primitive Communist traditions of the Russian peasants.

All of the right-wing versions were variations of a slightly different sort.

Mussolini was going to recreate the Roman Empire, and when he marched on Rome in 1922, he organized his followers into legions. They were centurions marching on Rome. The Roman Empire was going to be recreated in a modern version. They weren’t going to go back to the ancient version. It was would be a modern version of the Roman Empire.

Franco was going to recreate the medieval Crusades of Spain at its greatest. He would do this in a modern version.

Hitler was also going to recreate the Roman Empire. The Third Reich meant the new Reich after the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. He would recreate the Roman Empire, but in an Aryan version instead of an Italian version.

And likewise, this cult of the ancient, the reestablishing of the ancient, was a leap into the future at the same time, a modernism.

The symbolist cult of the Book of Revelation is also a cult of ancient myth, which is a cult of modernism at the same time. If you want to see that artistically, picture some of Picasso, where he is evoking the ancient myths of the Mediterranean but in the most modern of ways.

5) All of these movements proposed impractical programs which were unachievable except in one way, which was through mass death. Mass death showed that these were movements of transgressive rebellion, not movements of reform, not conservative movements of reform or social democratic movements of reform, Left or Right, but movements that would break through the ordinary morality of behavior, thus would break through the existing world view.

The reassuring demonstration that one had really gone beyond the ordinary was a commitment to mass death. All of these movements failed completely in achieving what they stated to be their worldly aims, and in achieving mass death.

6) The liberal society which in its weaknesses and contradictions and inability to conceive of the dark in human nature, the liberal society which in some way had inspired these movements and against which these movements now arose in rebellion, also had a great deal of trouble in identifying what these movements were.

We are all too familiar with the failures of the left-wing Fellow Travelers, who could not understand Stalinism and could only understand it as an exceptionally advanced form of social democracy. But you can take examples of this kind of error across the spectrum.

I write about the French socialists of the 1930s, who were a deeply democratic and liberal, in my sense of the word, movement with an impeccable record of liberal democratic credentials going back into the nineteenth century, without any of the aspects of Bolshevism, Marxism, or Leninism. One has to remember that in the 1930s, the French socialists were the enemies of Nazism and of the Right.

And yet, the majority of the French socialists finally voted for Marshall Pétain because they could not get themselves to understand the nature of Nazism. They managed to tell themselves that Nazism was a legitimate movement, that the Germans did have grievances, that the Treaty of Versailles had been unjust, that Hitler might be raving but he was stating truths.

The French socialists in their majority faction certainly did not regard themselves as anti-Semites, and yet they asked themselves: “Every time somebody rails against the Jews, is it always an example of anti-Semitism?” The French socialists were, by definition, the enemy of financiers — “and weren’t some of the financiers Jewish?”

The French socialists finally thought that the great danger to France was represented not by Hitler and the Nazis but by the hawks in their own society. And who was the leading hawk? Unfortunately, it was their own leader, the leader of the minority faction, who had managed to get himself elected Prime Minister, Léon Blum, whose ethnic identity now became itself a source of much speculation.

With this kind of reasoning, the French socialists in the majority faction not only managed to vote for Pétain, but quite a few ended up joining his government, and in this way the impeccable liberal democrats of the French Left managed to convert themselves into fascists.

7) The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from this kind of liberal naïveté. Without the cooperation of the Fellow Travelers with Stalin, without the French anti-war socialists in the case of Hitler, without the naïveté of any number of conservatives and democratic right-wingers in the case of a variety of fascists and Nazis, without the naïveté even of the United States with regard to Hitler straight through the 1930s, it would be inconceivable to imagine that these movements would have gotten very far.

So it is a mistake to think of the totalitarian movements as isolated. They existed in a dynamic, and part of the dynamic is the liberal naïve unwillingness to recognize them as what they are.

8) Totalitarianism arose in Europe in the fifteen years after the First World War. In the first twenty-five years, similar or identical movements arose on the other side of the Mediterranean too, in the Muslim world.

One of these movements was certainly Muslim Communism, which everyone forgets about. In the interpretation of the clash of civilizations, one would imagine that a Western movement like Communism would be inconceivable in what is called a non-Western society. In fact, Communism was a large and lasting movement.

But the totalitarian ideal also arose in two other versions, which were distinctly not European. The radical Islamist movement — that is, the notion of Islam as a revolutionary political movement, not just as a religion — was founded in 1928 with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Pan-Arabist movement in its most radical version, the Baath, was founded formally in 1943 in Damascus.

These movements are conventionally seen as opposites. If you turn on the TV, you will see any number of people automatically saying that these movements have nothing in common; one is religious, the other is secular; they despise each other. And it is true that they have despised each other and have committed mutual massacres on a gigantic scale.

It is useful to point out the ways in which these two movements resemble each other. The totalitarian movements in Europe also were different one from the other, and sometimes were at war with one another, and yet there were underlying similarities.

In the case of Baathism and Islamism, these similarities are easy to see. There is a people of God. The people of God should be described as the “true Muslims” in the case of the Islamists, or as the “true Arabs” in the case of the Baath. The people of God are afflicted by internal corruptors within Muslim society. These internal corruptors are the Jews or the Masons or the Muslim hypocrites.

The people of God are afflicted by sinister external foes, Western imperialists or the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The people of God will resist these internal foes and external foes in a gigantic war of Armageddon. This war will be the liberation of Jerusalem or it will be the jihad.

Afterwards the reign of purity will be established and this reign of purity is described in the case of both of those movements in the same way: it is the re-resurrection of the Caliphate of the seventh century in the years after the Prophet Mohammed. The Caliphate is described by each of these movements in a slightly different way. For the Islamists, it means the reinstating of Shar’iah or Qur’anic law. For the Baathists the emphasis is secular; it is the recreating, the resurrecting, of the Arab empire when the Arab empire was on the march.

Finally, these two movements have lacked for nothing in the realm of practical achievement – killing millions. In the last twenty years, several million people have been killed in the course of the Iran-Iraq war, which pitted one of these movements against the other — the mass human wave suicide attacks on the part of the Iranian Islamists against the cult of cruelty, and of chemical weapons on the part of the Baathists. It is estimated that between one and a half million and two million people were killed in Sudan; 100,000 are thought killed in Algeria over the last several years.

It is conventionally said that in these movements today we face nothing like Hitler or Stalin, but statistically this is not true.

9) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years.

Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?”

And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy.

It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things.

10) All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions.

Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis.

The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas.

The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists.

I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas.

Thank you.

JOANNE MYERS: I would like to open the floor to questions.

Questions and Answers

QUESTION: A fascinating rendition of history. The problem underlying all of these movements that have done so much damage in the world is that they are the result of liberalism. Liberalism, therefore, because of its very nature of considering a wide spectrum of good and evil, as opposed to taking a position on one side, is very negative and probably should be considered unacceptable in the war of ideas. Liberals have fomented some of the major problems in the history of the world.

I’d like your comments.

PAUL BERMAN: I agree with you up until your final conclusion. Liberalism in the broadest sense, the notion of a liberal society, does in fact generate these movements.

I am not the first to make that observation. In The Open Society and its Enemies, Karl Popper explains at length, in a book written or completed in 1943, a very evocative date, that the notion of freedom itself, which he traces back to Greece, inspires a rebellion of fear against it.

There is a relation between liberal society and its enemies, and that liberalism does inspire these movements of rebellion, and has inherently a difficulty in coping with them. If that is what you are suggesting, I agree completely.

We must recognize, first, that liberalism itself does bear some responsibility for the rise of these movements, and then bears a responsibility for failing to recognize them and to engage with them.

At a time of war people want to wave a flag and say, “these are the totally good guys and those are the totally bad guys.” I am with you on saying “those are the totally bad guys.” But about saying “these are the totally good guys” I have a moment of reservation.

QUESTION: Have you been in touch with fellow intellectuals in Europe? How do they respond to your thesis, they who have suffered from Nazism and Franco and Communism, and yet seem so naïve when it comes to understanding what the United States is trying to do to combat the dangerous ideologies in the Islamic world?

How can we find again a common basis with the Europeans and others, and with Muslims all over the world, to transform this Armageddon-directed Islamism, militant Islamism, into a more open society?

PAUL BERMAN: I’m sorry to say that in the current issue of the New York Review of Books I’ve been hanged by Ian Buruma, who takes the occasion to observe that he is Dutch-born and expresses a lot of resentment at some implicit analyses of contemporary Europe that he finds in my book. So there are some tensions.

I was at a conference in Paris last summer where the tensions between some of the American and European intellectuals were in fact quite great.

At the same time, my book occupies a strange place in this debate because it has already been criticized for being anti-European and having a naïve American nationalism implicit in it.

The ideas that I have just expounded, come, insofar as they aren’t my own, from Popper in some degree, from Albert Camus, and especially André Glucksmann, the French philosopher, who in his hugely unappreciated book of 1991, Le Onzième Commandement, which is his answer to Francis Fukuyama, lays out some aspects of this notion of the Book of Revelation as an Ur myth underlying modern totalitarianism.

I just had this same discussion with a reporter from Le Monde, who called to ask me if I wasn’t anti-European, based on what she had read about my book in the New York Review. I said, “I don’t think so because all my ideas are actually French, except that I have given them a different twist.”

The great chasm that has opened up between the United States and Western Europe, at least, is much more conjunctural, much more a matter of chance events, than it is anything deeper or structural. I disagree with Robert Kagan on this point. Much of it is the fault of George Bush and could have been avoided.

In France, before the Iraq war, a poll showed that 33 percent of the French supported the war. Of those 33 percent, most were on the Right, some were on the Left. But apart from the 33 percent, the polls showed consistently that the single most admired politician in France is Bernard Kouchner, who was a socialist, Mitterand’s Minister of Health, NATO Administrator in Kosovo, and long ago had been the founder of Doctors Without Borders. Kushner supported the war.

So if you figure that the most popular politician in France, who is a socialist, supported the war, 33 percent of the population supported the war, most of whom were on the Right, meaning that you could have got much support on the Left, all you had to do was convince 9 percent of the French to change their opinion and you would have had a majority of France in favor of the war. The popular support for the war in France is much above that in Spain, where Aznar did support the war.

If Bush had presented the arguments for the war along the lines that a Bernard Kouchner would have proposed, if he had argued for the war as a further extension of what NATO had done in the Balkans finally in the Kosovo war, he would have been able to carry that extra 9 percent in France, and if Chirac saw that even a small majority was leaning in favor of the war, he would have found a way to interpret the international situation rather differently.

World War II was an age of giants, of Roosevelt and Churchill. Today we have Churchill but we don’t have Roosevelt and we don’t have de Gaulle. I attribute the breach between the United States and Europe above all to these errors of Bush.

QUESTION: Would you give us your views on the modalities by which an ideological struggle can be conducted? It is difficult for outsiders to argue with or conduct an ideological debate with the Muslim world. An ideological debate must occur within a community.

PAUL BERMAN: First, it’s a mistake to regard Muslims as outsiders to the West. In many respects the intellectual capital of the Arab world is Paris and London, where you have the freest press and the most open debate. The leading philosopher of the most moderate, fairly reasonable wing of modern Islamism is a Swiss professor who is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Second, the founders of the Muslim totalitarian movements, the most important theoreticians, like Sayyid Qutb in the case of radical Islamism, or Michel Aflaq in the case of Baathism, are Western-educated intellectuals.

A quarter of my book is devoted to the writings of Sayyid Qutb, born in 1906, hanged by Nassar in 1966. During his many years in prison he wrote a gigantic commentary of the Qur’an. It looks strictly Islamic and Qur’anic, but if you sit back and look at the ideas, it’s not hard to recognize a bit of Heidegger, of existentialism, all of the familiar doctrines of modern European philosophy.

And this guy knew what he was doing. He did not come up with totally modern ideas strictly out of the seventh-century Qur’an. He did succeed in finding a Qur’anic language to express these ideas, but this writer does not live on a different planet or come from a different universe than the intellectuals of New York or Paris or London.

If my analysis is correct, I don’t mean to deny a distinctly regional and denominational aspect of Muslim totalitarianism. I am happy to acknowledge the differences between Egypt and Italy, or for that matter Egypt and its immediate neighbors. But if the fundamentals of my analysis are correct, then all of these movements reflect the intellectual currents of the twentieth century coming out of the nineteenth century, and it is a great mistake on our part to think that the intellectuals behind these movements are coming from a different universe.

So we can argue with these people directly. And we shouldn’t assume that they are not reading us or would not be willing to read us. I came on the works of Qutb prowling the Islamic bookstores of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. There is every reason to think that the other people prowling those bookstores, who might have a different ethnic origin than my own, are nonetheless reading some of the same books that I am reading, and that the gap between us and them is not so great.

QUESTION: You describe the totalitarian forces as the people of God in their minds. Do you not think that this concept is slightly different in this context, because one could say that about an aspect of what is going on in this country? After all, there is a rather large segment of people in this country who have affected policy who call themselves the Christian Right. They believe in Armageddon, Revelation.

There is this aspect in what you would characterize as the liberalism force as also the people of God. Our President has said that God is on our side. This is slightly different from the analysis that you presented of all the other contexts.

PAUL BERMAN: An excellent question. I have two responses.

First, it is not true that everyone who calls himself a fundamentalist is the same. The mainstream of American Christian fundamentalism has, even if they allow themselves flights of fancy, political goals, such as prayer in schools, the end of the right to abortion, etc.

Maybe if they were given free rein, they would lose control of themselves and the goals would multiply. I don’t rule that out.

The mainstream of these people are not dreaming of abolishing the U.S. Constitution and replacing it with a theocracy. It’s a limited movement.

However, there are groups like the David Koresh cult and certain kinds of cults that arise on the fringe of the American Christian fundamentalist movement that have this idea. If you could picture one of those cults becoming a mass movement led by David Koresh, then you would have something much more like radical Islamism, or the Taliban.

One of Bush’s worst failures is that he is so locked into a conventional American understanding of Christianity and its role in American politics that he has no idea whatsoever how this plays in the rest of the world. He hasn’t the faintest idea that to European ears when he evokes God he sounds like a fascist. He knows he is not a fascist, and most Americans know that he is not a fascist, that he doesn’t want to overthrow the Constitution.

But the language he is using is not so different from a language that you can trace among American politicians way back into the nineteenth century and is well understood both on the Right and the Left.

So when we hear Bush invoking his Christian faith and saying “God bless America,” we shrug. But to many people around the world, in Europe especially, this is language that only a follower of Franco would use.

Bush has no idea how badly he has weakened the United States internationally by using this language and how badly he has weakened the struggle ideologically. After all, the most important thing that we want to do is persuade millions of people in the Muslim world that Islam is excellent but what they want to establish is a secular society which is not theocratic, which has the qualities of a liberal society, and that there is a fine and esteemed place for religion within it. Bush sounds like a Christian Crusader, exactly the worst fantasy of the Islamists and Baathists who are against the United States.

QUESTION: Paul, I would like to make a defense of liberalism. You’re conflating the failure of nerve of liberals in the 1930s to stand up against Hitler, and then later to see the treacheries of Stalin. But just because these movements identify themselves as opposition to liberalism is no discredit to liberalism.

How do you expect this next phase of our confrontation with the Islamic world to be a struggle of ideas? When has liberalism been able to persuade others to give up their ways? The liberal society of the North couldn’t even persuade the South to give up its ways. And in every encounter that liberalism has had in the twentieth century, it was a winning philosophy. Liberalism prevailed over fascism, over Communism, and what the Islamic world now faces is that they are isolated and in a state of desperation, backwardness and poverty.

Oscar Wilde said, “How do you reason someone out of what they have not reasoned into?”

PAUL BERMAN: They have not reasoned their way into it. When you read some of the theoreticians of these movements, you see that they are quite intelligent, and that people reasoned their way into fascism, Nazism, and Communism, and then they reasoned their way out of those movements.

In the case of Communism, the liberal world engaged in an excellent war of ideas, which, in Europe at least, meant that Communism collapsed, outside of Romania, in an entirely peaceful way, which is the ideal solution to the problem. And it was done largely through a war of ideas, that liberals of the Left and Right upheld their ideas. Liberal movements eventually began to spring up within the Communist societies, and some of the Communists themselves began to question their ideas in the face of these criticisms.

Communism has always contained something of a contradictory element, going back to Marx, who was partly wrong but partly right. The intellectual aspect of the Cold War in Europe was huge.

In the case of the Islamists and Baathists, again they are not so remote from us. Ultimately, they have to be reasoned with.

The whole history of totalitarian movements up to now has been one in which liberalism has finally triumphed, and so there is reason to feel some deep confidence about this. One actually has to go out and engage in this fight, which is largely intellectual.

There are two obstacles that exist, that make it difficult for us to engage in this fight.

One is a liberal naïveté, which has always been the case in regard to totalitarian movements, where one doesn’t want to believe that these movements are as bad as they are and one finds reasons for saying that they are reasonable and, therefore, not to take them seriously.

The other obstacle is the belief in the clash of civilizations, which attributes to the Muslim world an exoticism, that might lead us to suppose that we can’t argue with them because they come from another planet.

We must avoid the naïveté of failing to recognize what some of these movements represent and the dangers they pose and the crimes that they have already committed, and we must avoid the belief that there is no way we can speak to these people because they come from such a faraway place.

JOANNE MYERS: Thank you very much.

Voir aussi:

ISIL could pose threat to US, Europe, officials say

The group is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist outfit in the world
Michael Isikoff
Yahoo News
August 15, 2014

U.S. air strikes not "breaking the threat" of ISIL: Pentagon

U.S. counterterrorism officials have dramatically ramped up their warnings about the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), concluding that the well-armed group is expanding its ambitions outside the Middle East and may be planning terror attacks against western Europe — and even the U.S. homeland.
ISIL’s conquest of vast swaths of Iraqi territory this spring and summer netted it a “significant” arsenal of U.S. weapons from two Iraqi military bases, including hundreds of tanks, heavily armored Humvees, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, officials say. One U.S official tells Yahoo News ISIL is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist group in the world.

Led by its charismatic chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the radical Islamist group is looking beyond its short-term goal of overthrowing the Iraqi and Syrian governments and replacing them with a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. “We’re seeing an expansion of its external terrorist ambitions,” one U.S. counterterrorism official said in a briefing for reporters Thursday. “As its capabilities grow, it has attracted thousands of foreign extremists — some of whom are going home to start cells. As it carves out territory [in Iraq], it wants to go beyond that and do attacks outside. ” U.S. counterterrorism agencies had put the number of ISIL fighters at about 10,000, but that figure is now being reassessed and is likely to be raised, officials say.

Just four years ago the group, then calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, was scattered and on the run from American forces, aided by Sunni tribes horrified by the group’s often grotesque violence. Its reign has been marked by summary executions, ritual stonings, beheadings and even crucifixions.

What fueled its resurgence? Officials say the group fed off Sunni resentment over the Shia-dominated government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who announced his resignation Thursday night. It took advantage of the power vacuum in northern Iraq to seize large chunks of essentially ungoverned territory. It saw an opportunity in recruiting prisoners; in July 2013, its suicide bombers blew their way into the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, freeing up to 500 inmates, including al-Qaida leaders.

These demonstrable successes gave the group new credibility among jihadis around the world, especially after it joined the civil war in Syria and changed its name to ISIL. (It has at times also been known as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) It has since changed its name again to the Islamic State after proclaiming itself a caliphate, the latest in a succession of Muslim empires dating back to the seventh century. Its ranks were soon swelled by foreigners, including hundreds of followers of the red-bearded Chechen militant Omar al-Shishani, a former Georgian army sergeant known for his deep hatred of America.

Concerns about terrorism spilling over from Syria and Iraq hit home in June when French police arrested an "armed jihadi" who had just returned from Syria in connection with the May 24 killing of four people — including two Israeli tourists — at a Jewish Center in Brussels.

Since then, authorities in Europe have broken up terror cells linked to ISIL, including one in Kosovo where officials this week arrested 40 suspects who had returned from Iraq and Syria—including some who had fought with ISIL — and seized weapons and explosives in dozens of locations.

ISIL and its followers have also proven adept at using social media, making a steady barrage of threats against the West, including the United States.

“Probably most striking are the threats on Twitter,” said a U.S. official who monitors the postings. “We’ve seen tens of thousands of postings by ten of thousands of people supporting ISIL, making threats to blow up U.S. Embassies." One posting showed an ISIL banner apparently superimposed on an image of the White House.

It is still unclear how real those threats are, at least while ISIL is focused on its war with the Iraqi government. And the resignation of the deeply unpopular Maliki could allow for more U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against the insurgents.

But increasingly, officials say, ISIL has the perception of momentum. For the first time there are signs that some jihadis linked to al-Qaidaare expressing sympathy, if not allegiance, to ISIL — despite al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s disavowal of the group.

One thing ISIL does not lack is funds. The group has seized banks, accumulating vast amounts of cash and raking in more by selling oil and other commodities to smugglers. ISIL “is flush with cash. It has plenty of money. They control oil fields, they have refiners. They have hundreds of millions of dollars,” said one U.S. analyst at the Thursday briefing.

And it is exceptionally well armed. When ISIL forces assaulted two Iraqi military bases, Camp Speicher and Rasheed Air Base, in July, they got the keys to the kingdom — hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of American tanks, armored personal carriers, howitzers and other equipment. ISIL fighters have posed for videos brandishing MANPADS, shoulder-launched surface to air missiles that can shoot down low-flying aircraft.

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is …
“They’ve got enough supplies, equipment and ammunition to last them five years,” said John Maguire, a former top CIA officer in Iraq who retains close ties to the Kurdish regional government. Thanks in part to assistance from former Iraqi military officers who have defected to ISIL, “they know how to operate American equipment.”

What they also have, at least for the moment, is a de facto safe haven. Al-Baghdadi — who officials say sees himself as the true successor to Osama bin Laden — is believed to be constantly on the move. But ISIL appears to have established a headquarters in Raqqa in northern Syria, where the group’s black banners reportedly fly over administrative buildings.

Given that President Obama has placed sharp limits on U.S. airstrikes and confined them to Iraq, that effectively makes Baghdadi and his top deputies — almost all of whom were once in U.S. custody — off-limits to U.S. military action. The Raqqa safe haven “is a problem,” acknowledged one U.S. official.

The bottom line, U.S. counterterrorism officials say, is that new strategies are urgently needed to counter the surging ISIL threat. In the briefing for reporters Thursday, one senior official made the point in the most understated way possible: “We don’t assess at the moment this [the threat from ISIL] is something that will collapse on its own.”

Voir également:

TEA LEAF NATION
China Sees Islamic State Inching Closer to Home
Chinese media lights up after a Hong Kong weekly says IS aims to expand into Xinjiang.
Alexa Olesen
Foreign Policy
August 11, 2014

They’ve been grabbing headlines nearly everywhere else, but the jihadis of northern Iraq haven’t been getting much play in China. But a threat by the Islamic State (IS) of revenge against countries, including China, for seizing what IS calls "Muslim rights" appears to have changed all that. The comments were made in early July, but the news didn’t jump the language barrier from Arabic into Mandarin until August 8, when Phoenix Weekly, a Hong Kong-based newsmagazine widely distributed in China, made the IS revenge threats against China its cover story. Since then, the article has been widely syndicated on Chinese news websites and has gained traction on social media as well. Ordinary Chinese who may have felt distant from the carnage now feel it creeping closer to home.

The glossy cover of the Phoenix issue features a picture of masked gun-toting jihadis advancing through a desert landscape. The piece inside sounds the alarm over a July 4 speech in Mosul, Iraq, by IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in which he urged Muslims around the world to pledge their allegiance to him. It quotes Baghdadi saying that "Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine" and more than a dozen other countries and regions. "Your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades," Baghdadi told his followers. Phoenix noted that China was mentioned first on Baghdadi’s list. (The article also includes a map that some news reports have said shows the vast territory IS plans to occupy in the next five years, which appears to include a significant portion of Xinjiang. Although the authenticity of the map, which was widely shared on English-language social media sites in early July, has been questioned, the Phoenix piece reports it as fact.)

Online, Chinese are both agitated and bemused. One Chinese reader wrote on the social media site Weibo:
"This is good. It offends all five of the hooligans on the UN Security Council" — that is, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — which means the IS jihadis "are going to be roadkill." Anotherresponded to a photo of Baghdadi: "Looking at this bearded pervert makes me sick. Hurry up and incinerate this kind of trash, and send him to enjoy his 72 virgins in heaven." A third wrote that ISIS seemed to have "a death wish," but that people should be grateful because the jihadist group was giving Beijing "a reasoned and evidence-based opportunity to crack down on terrorist activities."

This may constitute a welcome opening for Chinese authorities. China has been fighting a low-level separatist insurgency of its own in Xinjiang for decades and worries that foreign Islamic groups are infiltrating the region, emboldening the simmering independence movement. Uighur exile groups say China’s government overstates its terrorism problem and falsely paints protests that turn into riots as premeditated terror attacks. In any case, Beijing is likely alarmed by IS’s criticism of its treatment of the Muslim Uighurs and the group’s alleged plan to seize Xinjiang, no matter how far-fetched the idea might be. But just how actively authorities will deal with any IS threat remains to be seen.

Beijing has consistently tried to keep itself removed from the political and military crises roiling Iraq, even as China has poured billions of dollars into Iraqi oil, enough that about 10 percent of its oil imports come from the Middle Eastern country. China’s most decisive action since ISIS’s surge has been to evacuate 10,000 Chinese working in Iraq. On July 8, Chinese special envoy Wu Sike met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and pledged anti-terror support, but added that Beijing would fully respect the country’s sovereignty. When Wu returned to Beijing he briefed reporters about the trip on July 29, telling them that China was a victim of terror with roots in Syria and Iraq. "Solving the conflicts in Iraq and Syria will benefit China and the entire world," he said.

But Beijing’s reaction to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq betrays its conflicted allegiances. China usually bristles at or condemns U.S. intervention in global hot spots and has opposed U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Syria, Russia, and Iran. But the interests of Washington and Beijing are unusually closely aligned when it comes to Iraq. On August 8, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that China was "keeping an open mind" about operations that would "help maintain security and stability" in Iraq. The statement came in response to a request for comment on U.S. President Barack Obama’sannouncement that the United States would carry out airstrikes against insurgents in northern Iraq. Wang Chong, a researcher at Charhar Institute, a public diplomacy think tank in Beijing, wrote on Weibo that he "firmly supported" the U.S. crackdown on IS. Wang added that the United States "ought to send ground troops to wipe out those brutal terrorists" and that if there was a need, "China could also send troops to help and provide training."

That’s possible — within limits. Zhu Weilie, director of the Middle East Studies Institute at Shanghai International Studies University, toldthe state-run Global Times on July 29 that China believes the United Nations should lead anti-terror operations in the Middle East. "China will be more actively involved in these efforts but will never be as involved in Middle East affairs as the United States," he said.

Voir enfin:
Hezbollah sees Islamic State insurgents as threat to Gulf, Jordan
Tom Perry
Reuters
Beirut Aug 15, 2014

(Reuters) – The Hezbollah leader described the radical Islamist movement that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria as a growing "monster" that could threaten Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states, according to an interview printed on Friday.

In a separate speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Islamic State also posed an existential threat to his own nation, Lebanon, the target of an incursion by Islamist insurgents fromSyria this month. He said his heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group was ready to fight the threat in Lebanon – if required.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fight a Sunni Islamist-dominated insurgency that spilled into the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Aug. 2, triggering five days of battles between the Lebanese army and militants including members of Islamic State.

"Here we live, and – if the battle is imposed on us – here we fight and here we will be martyred," said Nasrallah. Hezbollah said it stayed out of the Arsal battle, wary of inflaming sectarian tensions with Lebanese Sunnis, many of whom have supported the uprising against Assad.

Nasrallah was speaking on the eighth anniversary of the conclusion of Hezbollah’s one-month war with Israel.

Addressing the wider threat to the region from Islamic State, Nasrallah said it could easily recruit in other Arab states where its hardline ideology exists. Even Turkey, the passage for many foreign fighters into Syria, should beware.

"Wherever there are followers of the ideology there is ground for (Islamic State), and this exists in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait and the Gulf states," Nasrallah said in the interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

Nasrallah, whose group is backed by Shi’ite power Iran, said Islamic State was encountering resistance in some parts of Iraq and Syria. But "it appears that the capabilities, numbers and capacities available to (Islamic State) are vast and large. This is what is worrying everyone, and everyone should be worried."

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim monarchy that has been in a state of cold war with Shi’iteIran and its allies, has shown growing signs of alarm about the spread of Islamic State. Last month, it deployed 30,000 soldiers at its border with Iraq.

Saudi Arabia has also been a major sponsor of the anti-Assad uprising.

Hezbollah’s role in Syria has helped Assad beat back the rebellion against his rule in critical areas of the country including Damascus and a corridor of territory stretching north from the capital. But large parts of Syria’s less densely populated north and east have fallen to Islamic State.

"A REAL DANGER"

"This danger does not recognise Shi’ites, Sunnis, Muslims, Christians or Druze or Yazidis or Arabs or Kurds. This monster is growing and getting bigger," said Nasrallah.

Nasrallah reiterated his defence of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian conflict, the focus of criticism from Lebanese opponents who say the group has provoked Sunni militant attacks in Lebanon.

Most recently, insurgents including members of Islamic State seized the town of Arsal at the Syrian border, battling the Lebanese army for five days before withdrawing with 19 soldiers and 17 policemen as captives.

Nasrallah said the insurgents would have advanced as far as the Lebanese coast were it not for Hezbollah’s role fighting them in areas of Syria just east of the Lebanese border.

"Going to fight in Syria was, in the first degree, to defend Lebanon, the resistance in Lebanon, and all Lebanese," he said.

A Hezbollah commander was last month killed in Iraq near Mosul, a city seized by Islamic State in June, suggesting the group may also be helping pro-government forces there.

Hezbollah has not officially announced any role in Iraq.

Nasrallah linked the threat posed by Islamic State to the spread of Wahhabism, a puritanical school of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia that demands obedience to the ruler but which has been widely blamed for fuelling Sunni radicalism.

"(Islamic State) does not have borders. There is a real danger and a real fear among many states and authorities, because one of the advantages of this organisation is its capacity to recruit among followers of al Qaeda-Wahhabi thought," he said.

(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


Islam: Les djihadistes sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran (The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from liberal naïveté)

18 août, 2014
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Nous ne savons pas si Hitler est sur le point de fonder un nouvel islam. Il est d’ores et déjà sur la voie; il ressemble à Mahomet. L’émotion en Allemagne est islamique, guerrière et islamique. Ils sont tous ivres d’un dieu farouche. Jung (1939)
Ceux qui affirment que Mahomet était pacifiste sont des menteurs et des incultes. Il a usé de la violence et l’a prêchée. Mohammed Bouyeri (assassin de Theo Van Gogh, 2 février 2006)
Dire que l’islamisme n’est pas l’islam, qu’il n’a rien à voir avec l’islam, est faux. Pour le musulman d’hier et d’aujourd’hui il n’y a qu’un seul Coran comme il n’y a qu’un seul prophète. (…) Entre l’islam et l’islamisme, il n’y a pas de différence de nature mais de degré. L’islamisme est présent dans l’islam comme le poussin l’est dans l’oeuf. Il n’y a pas de bon ou mauvais islam, pas plus qu’il n’y a d’islam modéré. En revanche il y a des musulmans modérés, ceux qui n’appliquent que partiellement l’islam. Anne-Marie Delcambre
Il est ironique et décourageant que beaucoup d’intellectuels occidentaux non-musulmans – qui prétendent sans cesse qu’ils soutiennent les droits de la personne – sont devenus des obstacles à la reforme de l’islam. Le politiquement correct parmi les Occidentaux empêche la critique non ambiguë de l’inhumanité de la charia. Ils trouvent des excuses socio-économiques ou politiques pour le terrorisme islamiste tels que la pauvreté, le colonialisme, la discrimination ou l’existence d’Israël. Quelle incitation peut-il y avoir pour que les musulmans exigent la réforme de leur religion quand les “progressistes” occidentaux préparent le terrain pour la barbarie islamiste? Tawfik Hamid
C’est à vous, théologiens et ecclésiastiques islamiques, de produire une charia qui soit acceptée par le monde islamique et qui enseigne que les juifs ne sont pas des porcs et des singes, que la guerre pour diffuser l’islam est inacceptable et que tuer les apostats est un crime. Un tel livre montrerait que l’islam est une religion de paix. Tawfik Hamid
Dans le monde moderne, même les ennemis de la raison ne peuvent être ennemis de la raison. Même les plus déraisonnables doivent être, d’une façon ou d’une autre, raisonnables. (…) En cohérence avec cette idée, les socialistes regardaient ce qui se passait outre-Rhin et refusaient simplement de croire que ces millions d’Allemands avaient adhéré à un mouvement politique dont les principes conjuguaient théories paranoïaques du complot, haines à glacer le sang, superstitions moyenâgeuses et appel au meurtre. Paul Berman (Terror and liberalism, 2001)
The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from this kind of liberal naïveté. Without the cooperation of the Fellow Travelers with Stalin, without the French anti-war socialists in the case of Hitler, without the naïveté of any number of conservatives and democratic right-wingers in the case of a variety of fascists and Nazis, without the naïveté even of the United States with regard to Hitler straight through the 1930s, it would be inconceivable to imagine that these movements would have gotten very far. So it is a mistake to think of the totalitarian movements as isolated. They existed in a dynamic, and part of the dynamic is the liberal naïve unwillingness to recognize them as what they are. (…) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years. Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?” And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things. All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions. Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis. The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas. The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists. I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas. Paul Berman
Beaucoup, violents ou pas, sont abreuvés par des sites qui montrent l’ennemi « croisé » ou « sioniste » dans son horreur destructrice, « tueur d’enfants et de civils »… Mais le point crucial est le retour qu’on leur fait faire au texte fondateur, au Coran, où les « gens du Livre », juifs et chrétiens, représentés aujourd’hui par l’Amérique, Israël et un peu l’Europe, sont qualifiés de pervers, faussaires, injustes, traîtres, etc. Certains leur citent des versets plus calmes, comme « Point de contrainte en religion », ou comme « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré », mais c’est qu’ils vont voir de près dans le texte, ils vérifient et ils trouvent : « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré sauf pour une cause juste. » Quant au verset du libre choix, ils le voient encadré de violentes malédictions contre ceux qui font le mauvais choix. En somme, on manque cruellement d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ; et pour cause, ils sont recouverts d’un tabou, et toute remarque critique les concernant passe pour islamophobe dans le discours conformiste organisé, qui revient à imposer aux musulmans le même tabou, à les enfermer dans le cadre identitaire dont on décide qu’il doit être le leur (on voit même des juges de la République se référer au Coran pour arrêter leur décision…). Il y a donc un secret de Polichinelle sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam envers les autres, violence qui, en fait, n’a rien d’extraordinaire : toute identité qui se fonde est prodigue en propos violents envers les autres. Mais, avec le tabou et le conformisme imposés, cette violence reste indiscutée et semble indépassable. Récemment, dans Islam, phobie, culpabilité (Odile Jacob, 2013), j’ai posé ce problème avec sérénité, en montrant que les djihadistes, les extrémistes, sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran, portés par elle plutôt qu’ils ne la portent ; ils se shootent à cette vérité de la vindicte envers les autres, et même envers des musulmans, qu’il faut rappeler au droit chemin. Le livre est lu et circule bien, mais dans les médias officiels il a fait l’objet d’une vraie censure, celle-là même qu’il analyse, qui se trouve ainsi confirmée. Raconter ses méandres, ce serait décrire l’autocensure où nous vivons, où la peur pour la place est la phobie suprême : une réalité se juge d’après les risques qu’elle vous ferait courir ou les appuis qu’elle lui apporte. (…) La difficulté, c’est qu’un texte fondateur est comme un être vivant : dès qu’il se sent un peu lâché par les siens, il suscite des êtres « héroïques », des martyrs pour faire éclater sa vérité. Quitte à éclater le corps des autres. D’autres approches de cette « vérité » exigeraient un peu de courage de la part des élites, qui sont plutôt dans le déni. Pour elles, il n’y a pas de problème de fond, il y a quelques excités qui perdent la tête. Il ne faut pas dire que leur acte serait lié au Coran, si peu que ce soit. Le problème est bien voilé derrière des citations tronquées, des traductions édulcorées, témoignant, au fond, d’un mépris pour le Coran et ses fidèles. On a donc un symptôme cliniquement intéressant : quand un problème se pose et qu’il est interdit d’en parler, un nouveau problème se pose, celui de cet interdit. Puis un troisième : comment zigzaguer entre les deux ? Cela augmente le taux de poses « faux culs » très au-delà du raisonnable. Daniel Sibony

Alors que de la Syrie à l’Irak et à Gaza en passant par l’Afrique, s’accumulent les preuves de plus en plus irréfutables  …

Pendant que nos médias et nos belles âmes continuent à s’acharner sur le seul Etat d‘Israël

Qui, en ces temps de politiquement correct, osera dire la vérité sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam et du coran ?

Pourquoi des djihadistes français ?
Daniel Sibony
Marianne
1 Juin 2014

Pour le philosophe et psychanalyste Daniel Sibony, il y aurait une "violence fondatrice de l’islam". Une "violence" qui n’échapperait pas aux jeunes djihadistes français qui, eux, regardent de près le Coran. Mais pour l’auteur de l’essai intitulé "Islam, phobie, culpabilité", il est difficile de "poser ce problème avec sérénité" : "On manque cruellement, regrette-t-il, d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam".
Pourquoi des djihadistes français ?

Daniel Sibony

Marianne

23 mai 2014
Les jeunes djihadistes français (et en fait européens) sont un symptôme. Leurs parents sont souvent sidérés, d’autant plus quand ils sont musulmans : de familles venues du Maghreb, désireuses de vivre à l’européenne, de prendre leurs distances vis-à-vis d’un discours religieux assez pesant, voire intégriste, et du mode d’être qui l’accompagne. Ils sont donc stupéfiés de voir leurs jeunes fils reprendre le flambeau de l’origine pure et dure. C’est compter sans l’écart des générations, écart qui peut tourner à la rupture quand les jeunes se mettent en tête de pourfendre les compromis et les « semblants » de leurs parents, pour brandir une exigence de plénitude qui vire au fanatisme (surtout chez les convertis, encore plus avides de plénitude identitaire). Certains d’entre eux, même s’ils ne passent pas à l’acte, réprouvent la mollesse spirituelle de leurs parents et rejoignent le giron intégriste qui leur fournit une identité sans faille.

Beaucoup, violents ou pas, sont abreuvés par des sites qui montrent l’ennemi « croisé » ou « sioniste » dans son horreur destructrice, « tueur d’enfants et de civils »… Mais le point crucial est le retour qu’on leur fait faire au texte fondateur, au Coran, où les « gens du Livre », juifs et chrétiens, représentés aujourd’hui par l’Amérique, Israël et un peu l’Europe, sont qualifiés de pervers, faussaires, injustes, traîtres, etc. Certains leur citent des versets plus calmes, comme « Point de contrainte en religion », ou comme « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré », mais c’est qu’ils vont voir de près dans le texte, ils vérifient et ils trouvent : « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré sauf pour une cause juste. » Quant au verset du libre choix, ils le voient encadré de violentes malédictions contre ceux qui font le mauvais choix.

En somme, on manque cruellement d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ; et pour cause, ils sont recouverts d’un tabou, et toute remarque critique les concernant passe pour islamophobe dans le discours conformiste organisé, qui revient à imposer aux musulmans le même tabou, à les enfermer dans le cadre identitaire dont on décide qu’il doit être le leur (on voit même des juges de la République se référer au Coran pour arrêter leur décision…). Il y a donc un secret de Polichinelle sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam envers les autres, violence qui, en fait, n’a rien d’extraordinaire : toute identité qui se fonde est prodigue en propos violents envers les autres. Mais, avec le tabou et le conformisme imposés, cette violence reste indiscutée et semble indépassable. Récemment, dans Islam, phobie, culpabilité (Odile Jacob, 2013), j’ai posé ce problème avec sérénité, en montrant que les djihadistes, les extrémistes, sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran, portés par elle plutôt qu’ils ne la portent ; ils se shootent à cette vérité de la vindicte envers les autres, et même envers des musulmans, qu’il faut rappeler au droit chemin. Le livre est lu et circule bien, mais dans les médias officiels il a fait l’objet d’une vraie censure, celle-là même qu’il analyse, qui se trouve ainsi confirmée. Raconter ses méandres, ce serait décrire l’autocensure où nous vivons, où la peur pour la place est la phobie suprême : une réalité se juge d’après les risques qu’elle vous ferait courir ou les appuis qu’elle lui apporte.

J’apprends que la police anglaise demande aux mères musulmanes d’empêcher leurs jeunes de partir combattre en Syrie, c’est touchant ; tout comme l’appel français à la délation de jeunes suspectés de vouloir s’enrôler. Bref, n’importe quoi plutôt que d’affronter le problème – qui comporte aussi leur éventuel retour, un vrai retour de bâton si on ne fait rien « faute de preuves » quand ils reviennent.

La difficulté, c’est qu’un texte fondateur est comme un être vivant : dès qu’il se sent un peu lâché par les siens, il suscite des êtres « héroïques », des martyrs pour faire éclater sa vérité. Quitte à éclater le corps des autres. D’autres approches de cette « vérité » exigeraient un peu de courage de la part des élites, qui sont plutôt dans le déni. Pour elles, il n’y a pas de problème de fond, il y a quelques excités qui perdent la tête. Il ne faut pas dire que leur acte serait lié au Coran, si peu que ce soit. Le problème est bien voilé derrière des citations tronquées, des traductions édulcorées, témoignant, au fond, d’un mépris pour le Coran et ses fidèles. On a donc un symptôme cliniquement intéressant : quand un problème se pose et qu’il est interdit d’en parler, un nouveau problème se pose, celui de cet interdit. Puis un troisième : comment zigzaguer entre les deux ? Cela augmente le taux de poses « faux culs » très au-delà du raisonnable.
* Daniel Sibony est philosophe et psychanalyste, auteur des Trois monothéismes. Juifs, chrétiens, musulmans entre leurs sources et leurs destins (Seuil, 1992).

Voir aussi:

Who is Israel’s Most Powerful Enemy? The West
This is what happens in the West when Israel decides that thousands of rockets are enough.

Giulio Meotti
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly

Israelnationalnews

August 10, 2014

According to the definition given by a kibbutznik turned billionaire, Israel is “a villa in the jungle”.

Israel is an oasis surrounded by barbarians, beheaders, suicide bombers, mothers happy to send their own children to kill Jews – Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Salafists, Hezbollah, Islamic State, Iranian revolutionary guards… The list of the jihadist scum is long.

But Israel’s most powerful enemy is the West itself.

Israel is an oasis surrounded by barbarians, beheaders, suicide bombers, mothers happy to send their own children to kill Jews …
Israel’s wars to defend itself are always the chance to see an incredible eruption of hatred in the Western democracies and their élite.

Think about what has happened in the last few days.

A London theatre, Trycicle, boycotted the Jewish Festival because the festival got 1,000 pounds from the Israeli embassy.

Spain’s government announced it will impose a weapons’ embargo on Israel.

The self-hating Jew George Soros freed his fund from its Israeli assets.

Most of Hollywood’s stars, with the noble but solitary exception of Jon Voight, tweeted anti-Semitism.

In the UK, commercial chains such as John Lewis and Tesco, boycotted Israeli goods.

The Nobel Prize-winning Amnesty International, which once bravely fought for Andrei Sakharov, Boris Pasternak’s wife and Natan Sharansky, asked the US to stop sending fuel for Israeli tanks.

Spain’s most revered writer, Antonio Gala, cited the war between Israel and Hamas as retroactive justification for the expulsion of Jews from Spain in the 15th century. He wrote it in El Mundo, Spain’s second largest newspaper and the first Spanish website in the world.

Gala’s column is titled “Los Elegidos”. It means “the chosen”. The target is the Jews as a whole.

The former director of Unesco, the UN’s cultural agency, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, joined the boycott of the Israeli Jews.

Lawrence Weschler, for twenty years a writer for The New Yorker weekly magazine, compared Gaza to Dachau and Theresienstadt.

And the list of this Western scum is long.

There was a time when even Pablo Picasso signed appeals in favour of the State of Israel. Now his “Guernica”, about the atrocities of Franco’s government, is compared to Gaza.

And the world can hardly wait to see the Israelis at the dock of the Hague tribunal. Moshe Yaalon like Hermann Göring?

Meanwhile, Jews are secure no more in today’s Europe. In the last few weeks, in Paris and Berlin, we saw images reminiscient of the Kristallnacht.

A few days ago, Luciana Castellina, one of Italy’s most famous leftist journalists and writers, penned a front page column in which she attacked the pro- Israel rally I organized in Rome. She also regretted, sadly, that there are not enough anti-Jewish manifestations in Europe.

Muslims can kill Jewish students and bomb their homes. They can inflict pain in the wonderful society in Israel. But they can’t destroy the Jewish State. At least for the moment. At least as long as  Iran is unable to produce an atomic bomb.

By undermining Israel’s raison d’etre, the Western threat to Israeli existence has become existential, not merely tactic.

The West is making the world “Judenmüde”. Tired of Jews. The West is working so that people around the world will react to Israel’s destruction with a yawn. It is making them happy to turn the page.

Voir encore:

ISIL could pose threat to US, Europe, officials say

The group is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist outfit in the world

 August 15, 2014

U.S. air strikes not "breaking the threat" of ISIL: Pentagon

ISIL’s conquest of vast swaths of Iraqi territory this spring and summer netted it a “significant” arsenal of U.S. weapons from two Iraqi military bases, including hundreds of tanks, heavily armored Humvees, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, officials say. One U.S official tells Yahoo News ISIL is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist group in the world.

Led by its charismatic chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the radical Islamist group is looking beyond its short-term goal of overthrowing the Iraqi and Syrian governments and replacing them with a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. “We’re seeing an expansion of its external terrorist ambitions,” one U.S. counterterrorism official said in a briefing for reporters Thursday. “As its capabilities grow, it has attracted thousands of foreign extremists — some of whom are going home to start cells. As it carves out territory [in Iraq], it wants to go beyond that and do attacks outside. ” U.S. counterterrorism agencies had put the number of ISIL fighters at about 10,000, but that figure is now being reassessed and is likely to be raised, officials say.

Just four years ago the group, then calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, was scattered and on the run from American forces, aided by Sunni tribes horrified by the group’s often grotesque violence. Its reign has been marked by summary executions, ritual stonings, beheadings and even crucifixions.

What fueled its resurgence? Officials say the group fed off Sunni resentment over the Shia-dominated government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who announced his resignation Thursday night. It took advantage of the power vacuum in northern Iraq to seize large chunks of essentially ungoverned territory. It saw an opportunity in recruiting prisoners; in July 2013, its suicide bombers blew their way into the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, freeing up to 500 inmates, including al-Qaida leaders.

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A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, (REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV/Files)

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a video recording …

These demonstrable successes gave the group new credibility among jihadis around the world, especially after it joined the civil war in Syria and changed its name to ISIL. (It has at times also been known as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) It has since changed its name again to the Islamic State after proclaiming itself a caliphate, the latest in a succession of Muslim empires dating back to the seventh century. Its ranks were soon swelled by foreigners, including hundreds of followers of the red-bearded Chechen militant Omar al-Shishani, a former Georgian army sergeant known for his deep hatred of America.

Concerns about terrorism spilling over from Syria and Iraq hit home in June when French police arrested an "armed jihadi" who had just returned from Syria in connection with the May 24 killing of four people — including two Israeli tourists — at a Jewish Center in Brussels.

Since then, authorities in Europe have broken up terror cells linked to ISIL, including one in Kosovo where officials this week arrested 40 suspects who had returned from Iraq and Syria—including some who had fought with ISIL — and seized weapons and explosives in dozens of locations.

ISIL and its followers have also proven adept at using social media, making a steady barrage of threats against the West, including the United States.

“Probably most striking are the threats on Twitter,” said a U.S. official who monitors the postings. “We’ve seen tens of thousands of postings by ten of thousands of people supporting ISIL, making threats to blow up U.S. Embassies." One posting showed an ISIL banner apparently superimposed on an image of the White House.

It is still unclear how real those threats are, at least while ISIL is focused on its war with the Iraqi government. And the resignation of the deeply unpopular Maliki could allow for more U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against the insurgents.

But increasingly, officials say, ISIL has the perception of momentum. For the first time there are signs that some jihadis linked to al-Qaida are expressing sympathy, if not allegiance, to ISIL — despite al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s disavowal of the group.

One thing ISIL does not lack is funds. The group has seized banks, accumulating vast amounts of cash and raking in more by selling oil and other commodities to smugglers. ISIL “is flush with cash. It has plenty of money. They control oil fields, they have refiners. They have hundreds of millions of dollars,” said one U.S. analyst at the Thursday briefing.

And it is exceptionally well armed. When ISIL forces assaulted two Iraqi military bases, Camp Speicher and Rasheed Air Base, in July, they got the keys to the kingdom — hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of American tanks, armored personal carriers, howitzers and other equipment. ISIL fighters have posed for videos brandishing MANPADS, shoulder-launched surface to air missiles that can shoot down low-flying aircraft.

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This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Across the broad swath of territory it controls from northern Syria through northern and western Iraq, the extremist group known as the Islamic State has proven to be highly organized governors. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is …

“They’ve got enough supplies, equipment and ammunition to last them five years,” said John Maguire, a former top CIA officer in Iraq who retains close ties to the Kurdish regional government. Thanks in part to assistance from former Iraqi military officers who have defected to ISIL, “they know how to operate American equipment.”

What they also have, at least for the moment, is a de facto safe haven. Al-Baghdadi — who officials say sees himself as the true successor to Osama bin Laden — is believed to be constantly on the move. But ISIL appears to have established a headquarters in Raqqa in northern Syria, where the group’s black banners reportedly fly over administrative buildings.

Given that President Obama has placed sharp limits on U.S. airstrikes and confined them to Iraq, that effectively makes Baghdadi and his top deputies — almost all of whom were once in U.S. custody — off-limits to U.S. military action. The Raqqa safe haven “is a problem,” acknowledged one U.S. official.

The bottom line, U.S. counterterrorism officials say, is that new strategies are urgently needed to counter the surging ISIL threat. In the briefing for reporters Thursday, one senior official made the point in the most understated way possible: “We don’t assess at the moment this [the threat from ISIL] is something that will collapse on its own.”


Hamas: De même que pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam (For the Hamas, Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection as long as Heaven and earth last)

3 août, 2014
http://danilette.over-blog.com/article-une-recente-itw-de-mordechai-kedar-par-tom-trento-124354188.htmlLe roi de Moab, voyant qu’il avait le dessous dans le combat, prit avec lui sept cents hommes tirant l’épée pour se frayer un passage jusqu’au roi d’Édom; mais ils ne purent pas. Il prit alors son fils premier-né, qui devait régner à sa place, et il l’offrit en holocauste sur la muraille. Et une grande indignation s’empara d’Israël, qui s’éloigna du roi de Moab et retourna dans son pays. 2 Rois 3: 26-27
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique aspire à l’accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu, quel que soit le temps nécessaire. L’Apôtre de Dieu -que Dieu lui donne bénédiction et paix- a dit : "L’Heure ne viendra pas avant que les musulmans n’aient combattu les Juifs (c’est à dire que les musulmans ne les aient tués), avant que les Juifs ne se fussent cachés derrière les pierres et les arbres et que les pierres et les arbres eussent dit : ‘Musulman, serviteur de Dieu ! Un Juif se cache derrière moi, viens et tue-le. Charte du Hamas (article 7)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique croit que la Palestine est un Waqf islamique consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jugement Dernier. Pas une seule parcelle ne peut en être dilapidée ou abandonnée à d’autres. Aucun pays arabe, président arabe ou roi arabe, ni tous les rois et présidents arabes réunis, ni une organisation même palestinienne n’a le droit de le faire. La Palestine est un Waqf musulman consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Qui peut prétendre avoir le droit de représenter les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier ? Tel est le statut de la terre de Palestine dans la Charia, et il en va de même pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam et devenues terres de Waqf dès leur conquête, pour être consacrées à toutes les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Il en est ainsi depuis que les chefs des armées islamiques ont conquis les terres de Syrie et d’Irak et ont demandé au Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, s’ils devaient partager ces terres entre les soldats ou les laisser à leurs propriétaires. Suite à des consultations et des discussions entre le Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, et les compagnons du Prophète, Allah le bénisse, il fut décidé que la terre soit laissée à ses propriétaires pour qu’ils profitent de ses fruits. Cependant, la propriété véritable et la terre même doit être consacrée aux seuls musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Ceux qui se trouvent sur ces terres peuvent uniquement profiter de ses fruits. Ce waqf persiste tant que le Ciel et la Terre existent. Toute procédure en contradiction avec la Charia islamique en ce qui concerne la Palestine est nulle et non avenue.« C’est la vérité infaillible. Célèbre le nom d’Allah le Très-Haut » (Coran, LVI, 95-96). Charte du Hamas (article 11)
The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world. Atallah Abu al-Subh (former Hamas minister of culture, 2011)
Right now, Israel is much more powerful than Hezbollah and Hamas. Let’s say tomorrow this was reversed. Let’s say Hamas had the firepower of Israel and Israel had the firepower of Hamas. What do you think would happen to Israel were the balance of power reversed? David Wolpe (rabbi of Los Angeles Sinai Temple)
The truth is that there is an obvious, undeniable, and hugely consequential moral difference between Israel and her enemies. The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them. The charter of Hamas is explicitly genocidal. It looks forward to a time, based on Koranic prophesy, when the earth itself will cry out for Jewish blood, where the trees and the stones will say “O Muslim, there’s a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.” This is a political document. We are talking about a government that was voted into power by a majority of Palestinians. (…) The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking. Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that itshould have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews. And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it. What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want. Every time a Palestinian child dies, Israel edges ever closer to becoming an international pariah. So the Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants. (…)What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. And again, the charter of their government in Gaza explicitly tells us that they want to annihilate the Jews—not just in Israel but everywhere.(…) The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does. They shoot their rockets from residential neighborhoods, from beside schools, and hospitals, and mosques. Muslims in other recent conflicts, in Iraq and elsewhere, have also used human shields. They have laid their rifles on the shoulders of their own children and shot from behind their bodies. Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be. It is morally abhorrent to kill noncombatants if you can avoid it. It’s certainly abhorrent to shoot through the bodies of children to get at your adversary. But take a moment to reflect on how contemptible this behavior is. And understand how cynical it is. The Muslims are acting on the assumption—the knowledge, in fact—that the infidels with whom they fight, the very people whom their religion does nothing but vilify, will be deterred by their use of Muslim human shields. They consider the Jews the spawn of apes and pigs—and yet they rely on the fact that they don’t want to kill Muslim noncombatants.(…) Now imagine reversing the roles here. Imagine how fatuous—indeed comical it would be—for the Israelis to attempt to use human shields to deter the Palestinians. (…) But Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit. If you’re going to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, you have to acknowledge this difference. I don’t think there’s any ethical disparity to be found anywhere that is more shocking or consequential than this. And the truth is, this isn’t even the worst that jihadists do. Hamas is practically a moderate organization, compared to other jihadist groups. There are Muslims who have blown themselves up in crowds of children—again, Muslim children—just to get at the American soldiers who were handing out candy to them. They have committed suicide bombings, only to send another bomber to the hospital to await the casualities—where they then blow up all the injured along with the doctors and nurses trying to save their lives. Every day that you could read about an Israeli rocket gone astray or Israeli soldiers beating up an innocent teenager, you could have read about ISIS in Iraq crucifying people on the side of the road, Christians and Muslims. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world and on the Left over these crimes? Where are the demonstrations, 10,000 or 100,000 deep, in the capitals of Europe against ISIS?  If Israel kills a dozen Palestinians by accident, the entire Muslim world is inflamed. God forbid you burn a Koran, or write a novel vaguely critical of the faith. And yet Muslims can destroy their own societies—and seek to destroy the West—and you don’t hear a peep. (…) These incompatible religious attachments to this land have made it impossible for Muslims and Jews to negotiate like rational human beings, and they have made it impossible for them to live in peace. But the onus is still more on the side of the Muslims here. Even on their worst day, the Israelis act with greater care and compassion and self-criticism than Muslim combatants have anywhere, ever. And again, you have to ask yourself, what do these groups want? What would they accomplish if they could accomplish anything? What would the Israelis do if they could do what they want? They would live in peace with their neighbors, if they had neighbors who would live in peace with them. They would simply continue to build out their high tech sector and thrive. (…) What do groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and even Hamas want? They want to impose their religious views on the rest of humanity. They want stifle every freedom that decent, educated, secular people care about. This is not a trivial difference. And yet judging from the level of condemnation that Israel now receives, you would think the difference ran the other way. This kind of confusion puts all of us in danger. This is the great story of our time. For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don’t want to live peacefully in a secular, pluralistic world, because they are desperate to get to Paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet. Sam Harris
On ne manque pas d’images du conflit de Gaza. Nous avons vu les décombres, les enfants palestiniens morts, les Israéliens courir aux abris pendant les attaques de roquettes, les manœuvres israéliennes et les images fournies par l’armée israélienne des militants du Hamas sortant de tunnels pour attaquer les soldats israéliens. Nous n’avons pratiquement pas vu aucune image d’hommes armés du Hamas à Gaza. Nous savons qu’ils sont là : il y a bien quelqu’un qui doit se charger de lancer les roquettes sur Israël (plus de 2 800) et de les tirer sur les troupes israéliennes dans Gaza. Pourtant, jusqu’à maintenant, les seules images que nous avons vues (ou dont nous avons même entendu parler) sont les vidéos fournies par l’armée israélienne de terroristes du Hamas utilisant les hôpitaux, les ambulances, les mosquées, les écoles (et les tunnels) pour lancer des attaques contre des cibles israéliennes ou transporter des armes autour de Gaza. Pourquoi n’avons nous pas vu des photographies prises par des journalistes d’hommes du Hamas dans Gaza ? Nous savons que le Hamas ne veut pas que le monde voit les hommes armés palestiniens en train de lancer de roquettes ou utilisant des lieux peuplés de civils comme des bases d’opération. Mais si l’on peut voir des images des deux côtés pratiquement dans toutes les guerres, en Syrie, en Ukraine, en Irak, pourquoi Gaza fait-elle figure d’exception ? Si des journalistes sont menacés et intimidés lorsqu’ils essaient de documenter les activités du Hamas dans Gaza, leurs agences de presse devraient le dire publiquement. (…) Pour de nombreux spectateurs, le récit de cette guerre doit apparaître très clair : le puissant Israël bombarde des Palestiniens sans défense. C’est compréhensible lorsque l’on ne voit presque aucune photographie des agresseurs palestiniens. (…) Ce n’est pas un détail. L’opinion publique est un élément crucial dans ce conflit. Elle va jouer un rôle pour déterminer quand les combats cesseront, à quoi ressemblera le cessez-le-feu et qui portera en priorité la responsabilité pour la mort d’innocents. Si les grands médias suppriment les images des terroristes du Hamas utilisant des civils comme des boucliers et utilisant des écoles et des hôpitaux comme des bases d’opérations, alors les gens autour du monde auront naturellement du mal à voir les Israéliens comme autre chose que des agresseurs et les Palestiniens comme autre chose que des victimes. Times of Israel
Les menaces du Hamas ne sont pas responsables de l’ignorance et de la stupidité de la couverture des hostilités à Gaza, mais elles sont en partie responsables. Les journalistes et les médias employeurs coopèrent avec le Hamas non seulement en passant sous silence des histoires qui ne servent pas la cause du Hamas, mais aussi en ne parlant pas des conditions restrictives dans lesquelles ils travaillent. Scott Johnson
Pourtant, le sionisme, sans doute plus que toute autre idéologie contemporaine, est diabolisé. « Tous les sionistes sont des cibles légitimes partout dans le monde! » énonce une bannière récemment brandie par des manifestants anti-Israël au Danemark. « Les chiens sont admis dans cet établissement, mais pas les sionistes, en aucune circonstance », prévient une pancarte à la fenêtre d’un café belge. On a dit à un manifestant juif en Islande : « Toi porc sioniste, je vais te couper la tête. »Dans certains milieux universitaires et médiatiques, le sionisme est synonyme de colonialisme et d’impérialisme. Les critiques d’extrême droite et gauche le comparent au racisme ou, pire, au nazisme. Et cela en Occident. Au Moyen-Orient, le sionisme est l’abomination ultime – le produit d’un Holocauste que beaucoup dans la région nient avoir jamais existé, ce qui ne les empêche pas de maintenir que les sionistes l’ont bien mérité. Qu’est-ce qui, dans ​​le sionisme, suscite un tel dégoût ? Après tout, le désir d’un peuple dispersé d’avoir son propre Etat ne peut être si révulsif, surtout sachant que ce même peuple a enduré des siècles de massacres et d’expulsions, qui ont atteint leur paroxysme dans le plus grand assassinat de masse de l’histoire. Peut-être la révulsion envers le sionisme découle-t-elle de sa mixture inhabituelle d’identité nationale, de religion et de fidélité à une terre. Le Japon s’en rapproche le plus, mais malgré son passé rapace, le nationalisme japonais ne suscite pas la révulsion provoquée par le sionisme. Il est clair que l’antisémitisme, dans ses versions européenne et musulmane, joue un rôle. Fauteurs de cabales, faucheurs d’argent, conquérants du monde et assassins de bébés – toutes ces diffamations autrefois jetées à la tête des Juifs le sont aujourd’hui à celle des sionistes. Et à l’image des capitalistes antisémites qui voyaient tous les Juifs comme des communistes et des communistes pour qui le capitalisme était intrinsèquement juif, les adversaires du sionisme le décrivent comme l’Autre abominable. Mais tous ces détracteurs sont des fanatiques, et certains parmi eux sont des Juifs. Pour un nombre croissant de Juifs progressistes, le sionisme est un nationalisme militant, tandis que pour de nombreux Juifs ultra-orthodoxes, ce mouvement n’est pas suffisamment pieux – voire même hérétique. Comment un idéal si universellement vilipendé peut-il conserver sa légitimité, ou même prétendre être un succès ? Michael Oren
To remember the historical milieu compels every sincere observer to admit that there is no necessary connection between al-Miraj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem since, in the time when the Prophet… consecrated the place with his footprints on the Stone, the City was not a part of the Islamic State – whose borders were then limited to the Arabian Peninsula – but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, although radical preachers try to remove this from exegesis, the Glorious Quran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims. We read in Surah al-Baqarah: “…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qiblah), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer….” All Quranic annotators explain that "thy qiblah" is obviously the Kaabah of Mecca, while "their qiblah " refers to the Temple Site in Jerusalem. To quote just one of the most important of them, we read in Qadi Baydawi’s Commentary : “Verily, in their prayers Jews orientate themselves toward the Rock (al-Sakhrah), while Christians orientate themselves eastwards….” As opposed to what sectarian radicals continuously claim, the Book that is a guide for those who abide by Islam—as we have just now shown—recognizes Jerusalem as Jewish direction of prayer…. After…deep reflection about the implications of this approach, it is not difficult to understand that separation in directions of prayer is a mean[s] to decrease possible rivalries in [the] management of [the] Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims… complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view… there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem. Abdul-Hadi Palazzi (“Antizionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary Islamic Milieu)
Affirming Israel’s "right to exist" is as unacceptable as denying that right, because even posing the question of whether or not the Children of Israel (Jews) — individually, collectively or nationally — have a "right to exist" is unacceptable. Israel exists by Divine Right, confirmed in both the Bible and Qur’an. I find in the Qur’an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur’an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu’ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur’an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree. Every time Arabs fought against Israel they suffered humiliating defeats. In opposing the will of God by making war on Israel, Arabs were in effect making war on God Himself. They ignored the Qur’an, and God punished them. Now, having learned nothing from defeat after defeat, Arabs want to obtain through terror what they were unable to obtain through war: the destruction of the State of Israel. The result is quite predictable: as they have been defeated in the past, the Arabs will be defeated again. In 1919, Emir Feisal (leader of the Hashemite family, i.e., the leader of the family of the Prophet Muhammad) reached an Agreement with Chaim Weizmann for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab Kingdom having the Jordan river as a border between them. Emir Feisal wrote, "We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together. The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement." In Feisal’s time, none claimed that accepting the creation of the State of Israel and befriending Zionism was against Islam. Even the Arab leaders who opposed the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement never resorted to an Islamic argument to condemn it. Unfortunately that Agreement was never implemented, since the British opposed the creation of the Arab Kingdom and chose to give sovereignty over Arabia to Ibn Sa’ud’s marauders, i.e., to the forefathers of the House of Sa’ud. When the Saudis started ruling an oil rich Kingdom, they also started investing a regular part of their wealth in spreading Wahhabism worldwide. Wahhabism is a totalitarian cult which stands for terror, massacre of civilians and for permanent war against Jews, Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims. The influence of Wahhabism in the contemporary Arab world is such that many Arab Muslims are wrongly convinced that, in order to be a good Muslim, one must hate Israel and hope for its destruction. (…) The Bible says that God gave the Land of Israel as a heritage to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and gave the rest of the world as a heritage to other peoples. As confirmed by the Qur’an and Islamic tradition, Abraham himself bequeathed to his descendants from Isaac the Land of Israel, and bequeathed to his descendants from Ishmael other lands, such as the Arabian peninsula. Now descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, have a gigantic territory extending from Morocco to Iraq. The descendants of Isaac, the Jews, on the contrary, only have a tiny, narrow strip of land. However, Arab dictators are not satisfied with their huge territory. They want more. They also want the little heritage of the Children of Israel, and resort to terror in order to get it. Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi (Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community)
To win a war, one must identify who the enemy is and neutralize the enemy’s chain of command. World War Two was won when the German army was destroyed, Berlin was captured and Hitler removed from power. To win the War on Terror, it is necessary to understand that al-Qa’ida is a Saudi organization, created by the House of Sa’ud, funded with petro-dollar profits by the House of Sa’ud and used by the House of Sa’ud for acts of mass terror primarily against the West, and the rest of the world, as well. Consequently, to really win the War on Terror it is necessary for the U.S. to invade Saudi Arabia, capture King Abdallah and the other 1,500 princes who constitute the House of Sa’ud, to freeze their assets, to remove them from power, and to send them to Guantanamo for life imprisonment. Then it is necessary to replace the Saudi-Wahhabi terror-funding regime with a moderate, non-Wahhabi and pro-West regime, such as a Hashemite Sunni Muslim constitutional monarchy. Unless all this is done, the War on Terror will never be won. It is possible to destroy al-Qa’ida, to capture or execute Bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri, etc., but this will not end the War. After some years, Saudi princes will again start funding many similar terror organizations. The Saudi regime can only survive by increasing its support for terror. Saddam’s regime was one of the worst criminal dictatorships which existed in this world, and destroying it was surely a praiseworthy task for which, as a Muslim, I am thankful to President Bush, to the governments who joined the Coalition and to soldiers who fought in the field. Destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq were surely praiseworthy tasks, but I regret that focusing on these secondary enemies was — for the White House — a way to obscure the role of the world’s main enemy: the Saudis. (…)  I am extremely disappointed with him. I hoped that — after Saudi terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11 — this would necessarily cause a radical revision in U.S.-Saudi relations. The first action a U.S. President had to do after such a criminal attack as 9/11 was to immediately outlaw Saudi-controlled institutions inside the U.S. and acknowledge that viewing Saudis as "friends" was a mortal sin representing sixty years of failed U.S. foreign and economic policy. U.S. governmental agencies have plenty of evidence about the role of the House of Sa’ud in funding the worldwide terror network. U.S. citizens can even read in newspapers that some days before the 9/11 attack Muhammad Atta received a check from the wife of the former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, but unbelievably this caused no consequences. Let us consider plain facts: the wife of a foreign ambassador pays terrorists for attacks which murder thousands of U.S. citizens, and the U.S. government not only does not declare war on that foreign country, in this case Saudi Arabia, but does not even terminate diplomatic relations with that country. On the contrary, then-Crown Prince Abdallah, the creator (together with the new Saudi ambassador to the United States, former Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Father of 9/11, Prince Turki al-Feisal) of al-Qa’ida, is immediately invited to Bush’s ranch as a honored guest, and Bush tells him, "You are our ally in the War on Terror"! Can one image FDR inviting Hitler to the United States and telling him, "You are our ally in the war against Fascism in Europe"? Something very similar happened after 9/11. As a matter of fact, the Saudis supported Bush’s electoral campaign for his first term in office, and asked him in exchange to be the first U.S. President to promote the creation of a Palestinian State. Once he was elected, Bush refused to abide by the agreement, and the consequence was 9/11. "We paid for your election, and now you must do want we want from you", this was the message behind the 9/11 attack. Bush immediately started doing what the Saudis wanted from him: compelling Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in order to permit the creation of a PLO state. Western media speak of a "Road Map," while Arab media call it by its real name: "Abdallah’s Plan." One hears about a U.S. President who allegedly leads a "War on Terror" and promotes the spread of "democracy" and "freedom" in the Islamic world, but the reality shows a U.S. president who — after a Saudi terror attack against the U.S. — abides by a Saudi diktat, hides the role of the Saudi regime behind al-Qa’ida and wants Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, cut to pieces to facilitate the creation of another dictatorial regime, lead by Arafat deputy Abu Mazen, the terrorist who organized the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Theoretically, Bush proclaims his intention to punish terror and to spread democracy, but the Road Map is the exact opposite of all this: it means punishing the victims of terror and rewarding terrorists, compelling democracy to withdraw in order to create a new dictatorial Arab regime. For the U.S. there is only one single trustworthy ally in the entire Middle East: Israel. Now Bush is punishing America’s ally Israel to reward those who heartily supported "our brother Saddam", those who demonstrate by burning Stars and Strips flags and those who call America "the imperialist power controlled by Zionism". In doing so, Bush seriously risks becoming the most anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish President in the history of the U.S. Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi (Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community)
The failure of the Ottoman Empire to maintain and reform its financial and political policies in the face of changes in the international order in the nineteenth century led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and was capped by its calamitous decision to ally itself with Germany in the First World War, when the Empire was ultimately consigned to oblivion. Some Muslims confronted modern challenges to traditional Islam by focusing on the distant past, the Golden Age of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Rashidun), or the Salafs, (ancestors). Those who seek to emulate these ancestors are called Salafis, and their movement is often referred to in Arabic as the Salafiyyah, and its first major ideologue was the Egyptian Rashid Rida. Despite the lack of a political consensus among Palestinian Arabs about what form of government ought to be constituted following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, officials administering the major Palestinian Islamic institutions in Jerusalem under the British Mandate to the present day have adhered to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood inspired by Rida and articulated by the Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Hassan al-Banna in the 1930s. This continuity was masked throughout the periods of Hashemite and Israeli rule as the world’s focus was on the emergence of the secular nationalist Palestinian Liberation Organization and its associated rivals. From a minority position that emerged following the First World War in the Middle East, the claim that Palestine is waqf has been widely accepted in the Muslim discourse following the failures of the secularists to win the battle against Israel by the mid-1990s.
However, taking the larger view, which includes not only the municipality of Jerusalem, but the issue of settlements and Israeli “heritage sites” in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and the entire course of the conflict, it is not only the Jerusalem municipality or Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians which is to blame for the current impasse. The Palestinians’ continued willingness to support violent action against Israel, and their continued hope for a one state solution, has resulted, contrary to all reason, to support for HAMAS. Emboldened by its defeat of FATAH in Gaza in 2007, and backed by an extraordinarily aggressive Iran, the maximalists again are threatening to lead the Palestinian remnant to their complete destruction. All attempts to convince the Palestinians to abandon jihadist ideology have failed, despite the fact that the Arab world is ready to accommodate Israel in the current Middle Eastern state system. Recent calls for a bi-national, secular state instead of a two-state solution are distractions from the real issues at hand. Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people, fostering the development of municipal and national government in Gaza and the West Bank, and fighting against Islamist opportunism are goals that can be achieved under the shadow of the Iranian threat. Only on the micro-level can political progress be made. The conflict has to become localized. Only by rejecting the regionalization of the political issues facing the Palestinian and Israeli conflict can the international threats on the macro-level be challenged. A paradigm shift is needed to thwart the Islamist threat to Israel. Below are concrete steps towards localizing the conflict and to reinvigorate the peace process that could break the cycle of despair now characterizing the region within the parameters of the Beillin-Abu Mazen plan of 1995. Immediate Steps Within the Realm of Realpolitik and Reason: Localize Conflict Management and Resolution 1. Establish embassies in West and East Jerusalem All states having diplomatic relations with Israel should immediately establish embassies in Israel and Palestine. Arab League states establish embassies in East and West Jerusalem. Use these embassies to kick start economic development and housing in various neighborhoods. 2. Latin Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and other Christian landowners in Palestine/Israel to cooperate by developing local community development boards. 3) UNESCO overseas restoration and preservation of Islamic monuments and archeological sites. Turkey to cooperate with Israel and Palestine with historical preservation projects. 4) Educational programs for Palestinian and Israeli students focusing on holy sites throughout the land. Educational institutions currently training tour guides to spearhead these efforts, emphasizing change and continuity over time. 5) Truth and Reconciliation commissions to document and memorialize history. Institutions of higher learning to cooperate with education ministries. 6) UNRWA to close refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Repatriate and reimburse Arab and Jewish refugees according to their wishes—return, compensation, or memorials—on a case-by-case basis. Judith Mendelsohn Rood

Attention: une abomination peut en cacher une autre !

Attaques d’écoles, attaques d’hôpitaux, massacres de femmes, massacres d’handicapés, massacres d’enfants …

Alors que ce qui devrait être la révélation ultime d’une perfidie et d’un détournement systématique (jusqu’au recours quasi-archaïque au sacrifice d’enfants !) des valeurs civilisées que l’opinion occidentale n’arrive même pas à imaginer …

Est en train de transformer sur la base d’une information tout aussi systématiquement tronquée par l’intimidation et les menaces constantes sur les journalistes

La seule véritable démocratie du Moyen-Orient en l’abomination des abominations …

Retour, avec une intéressante analyse de  Judith Mendelsohn Rood, sur le véritable programme d’une organisation …

Qui funeste et monstrueux fruit comme on le sait d’un pacte faustien entre Israël et les Saoudiens …

Se révèle être à la fois explicitement guerrière et terroriste …

Et maximaliste et totalitariste …

Ne réclamant rien de moins, au-delà de quelques trêves purement tactiques, que la suppression pure et simple de toute présence juive en Palestine …

HAMAS in the Context of the Historic Islamicization of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Judith Mendelsohn Rood

Academia

Judith Mendelsohn Rood, Ph.D. Department of History, Government, and Social Science Biola University

Abstract: Secular Palestinian nationalists and scholars have studied the emergence of the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, but few have paid attention to its characterization of Palestine as an Islamic waqf. Following Hamas’ successful ousting of Fatah from Gaza in 2006, Hamas has been gaining the upper hand in the West Bank and Jerusalem as well because of its continuation of armed resistance against Israel. Hamas’ political success must be understood as a success of the Muslim Brotherhood to repudiate the secular nationalist Palestinian movement. Should HAMAS’s position on land tenure in the Palestinian Authority, defined by the unfounded claim that all land in Palestine is waqf, new problems arise for the development of the secular Palestinian state and is already posing problems for individual municipalities on the West Bank. The ideologically driven Israeli policy in Jerusalem is again matched by ideological Islamist agenda. Introduction Palestinian scholar Nur Masalha has characterized HAMAS’s claim that Palestine is an Islamic waqf as “the main innovative idea” that the Islamic Resistance Movement has contributed to the Arab-Israel Conflict. However, to the contrary, the claim that all Palestine is waqf  has been the official position of the Muslim Palestinian political establishment since before the days of the British Mandate. This claim, however, does not fit with the theory or practice of Islamic land tenure during any other period in Muslim history.

I first presented a version of this paper on July 31, 2008 at William Carey International University. In July 2009 and March 2010 I interviewed a number of Bethlehem area residents about land tenure issues facing their municipalities. I wish to thank them for their insights and their help, but, because of the sensitivity of these situations, I will have to let them remain anonymous. Any mistakes are my own and no one else is responsible for them. I welcome comments and corrections: judith.rood@biola.edu.

The HAMAS charter refers to the land of Palestine as “waqf ” that is, set aside as an eternal charitable endowment for the Muslim community. This is exactly the concept that the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini, used to oppose the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine at the time of the British Mandate, a policy that directly led to the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948. Thus, the HAMAS position that the land of Palestine is an irrevocable waqf is the same position held by the mufti  during the Mandate Period to outlaw Palestinian land sales to Jews, by the Jordanians from 1947-1967, by Palestinian secular nationalist groups, and by the Palestinian Authority today. Land sales to Jews are still defined as treason, and accused collaborators are punishable by death, a penalty often imposed extrajudicially. Moreover, this was the position of the Muslim effendiyat  (elite) of Jerusalem in the 19th century (they actually recognized that all of Palestine was not waqf, but consisted mostly of military land grants). The Ottoman authorities explicitly rejected their claim before the rise of political Zionism in order to encourage the growth of commerce in the region of Jerusalem. However, now that HAMAS has become the Islamic Republic of Iran’s newest proxy, the claim is more dangerous than ever before. In this article, we will dissect the issue by defining the geographical, legal, and economic meanings of the terms used by HAMAS in order to disprove them strictly on the grounds of Islamic law and government during the Ottoman period. The 1988 Hamas Charter asserts in Article 11: The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgment Day?

The failure of the Ottoman Empire to maintain and reform its financial and political policies in the face of changes in the international order in the nineteenth century led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and was capped by its calamitous decision to ally itself with Germany in the First World War, when the Empire was ultimately consigned to oblivion. Some Muslims confronted modern challenges to traditional Islam by focusing on the distant past, the Golden Age of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Rashidun), or the Salafs, (ancestors). Those who seek to emulate these ancestors are called Salafis, and their movement is often referred to in Arabic as the Salafiyyah, and its first major ideologue was the Egyptian Rashid Rida. Despite the lack of a political consensus among Palestinian Arabs about what form of government ought to be constituted following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, officials administering the major Palestinian Islamic institutions in Jerusalem under the British Mandate to the present day have adhered to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood inspired by Rida and articulated by the Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Hassan al-Banna in the 1930s. This continuity was masked throughout the periods of Hashemite and Israeli rule as the world’s focus was on the emergence of the secular nationalist Palestinian Liberation Organization and its associated rivals. From a minority position that emerged following the First World War in the Middle East, the claim that Palestine is waqf  has been widely accepted  in the Muslim discourse following the failures of the secularists to win the battle against Israel by the mid-1990s.

The Muslim link to Palestine is through Jerusalem, based upon the identity of the Dome of the Rock with the Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven of Muhammad, described in the Quran as happening only at the indeterminate “Furthest Mosque,” which traditionally has been identified with Jerusalem. The reason for the journey to the “Furthest Mosque” was for Muhammad to ascend to heaven to meet with Moses and the biblical prophets on the site of the Temple, where the
Sakinah (Arabic) or Shechina (Hebrew), (the Glory of God) had once rested. To the consternation of well-educated Muslims worldwide, officials in charge of the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem serving the Palestinian National Authority, established May 4, 1994, took the position of HAMAS even further, stating that the Temple of Solomon itself was not located in Jerusalem. Ikramah Sabri, the then mufti  of Jerusalem, said that “There is no evidence that Solomon’s Temple was in Jerusalem; probably it was in Bethlehem or in some other place.”

He was also quoted as saying: "There is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history." This  assertion was made despite the existence of a well-known pamphlet for tourists published in 1935 by the Islamic authorities themselves, pointing out that it is “beyond dispute” that the Dome of the Rock sits on the site of Solomon’s Temple. The issue was so provocative that the Shaykh of Al-Azhar, the head of Islam’s most venerable and greatest religious university, in an article entitled “Does Solomon’s Temple Exist Under the Current Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem?” published in Al-Ahram, November 2, 2000, felt compelled to explain its importance to his people. Yasser Arafat echoed this claim repeatedly until his death, and FATAH officials have continued to do so to this day, in total agreement with HAMAS, in order to deny any Jewish claims to the holy site. In July, 2009 Avi Diskin, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), told the Israeli cabinet that “Egyptian cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood "had allocated some $25 million for the purchase of property and to build Hamas charitable institutions that would expand the group’s reach in Jerusalem." This activity points to the importance of properly understanding the evidence in the Islamic law records relating to the historic role of the Islamic institutions in administering Islamic awaqf in practical and political terms in order to prove that such claims cannot be substantiated according to Islamic law.

I. The Conquest of the Arab Provinces and Ottoman Empire Land Tenure

According to Hamas’ charter, the Islamic claim to eternal sovereignty over “Palestine” resides in the very fact of the Islamic conquest. This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgment. It happened like this: When the leaders of the Islamic armies conquered Syria and Iraq, they sent to the Caliph of the Moslems, Umar bin-el-Khatab, asking for his advice concerning the conquered land – whether they should divide it among the soldiers, or leave it for its owners, or what? After consultations and discussions between the Caliph of the Moslems, Omar bin-el-Khatab and companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, it was decided that the land should be left with its owners who could benefit by its fruit. As for the real ownership of the land and the land itself, it should be consecrated for Moslem generations till Judgment Day. Those who are on the land, are there only to benefit from its fruit. This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void. This understanding, however, is incorrect and cannot be justified according to Islamic law as it was practiced “in Palestine” under the Ottomans, and before them the Mamluks and the Ayyubids, stretching back to the conquests of Salah al-Din in 1187 and even to the peaceful submission to the third Caliph, Umar, of Jerusalem in 636 by the Patriarch Sophronious. One of the hallmarks of Salafi teaching, which is at the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood, is that since the previous regimes which have ruled the Muslim world were not truly Islamic, the history of their governance and laws cannot be held to have correctly followed the Shariah, and therefore cannot be used to determine proper Islamic policies. This willful amnesia was repudiated by the Ottomans during the Wahhabist rebellions in Arabia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but since the end of the First World War there has been no Muslim authority powerful enough to challenge the Salafists today, as we have learned since 9/11.

The Ottomans followed a well-articulated Sunni system of imperial land tenure based on the Levitical concept that asserts that God is the owner of the land, and the state and its subjects are but its possessors, who are to use of it justly for the benefit of its subjects. As such, the sovereign had the right to dispose of the land—to utilize it for its peoples’ benefit—as he saw fit within the administrative laws of the empire. The right of usufruct, as the scholars name it, is earned by properly using the property—keeping it productive—and ensuring that the state can tax its produce so that it will be able to sustain the safety and prosperity of its subjects. The root of Ottoman identification of Jerusalem with Mecca and Medina lay both in their status as the three holy cities of Islam and in their juridical status following the original Muslim conquest of Syria. At an assembly in the Syrian military camp at Jabiya in 637, the Caliph ‘Umar declared the lands which surrendered unconditionally to his armies as fay, (lands that would pay tribute to the central government, and which were to be held as a perpetual trust for all Muslims). Thus, Syria and Iraq were regarded as lands subject to the kharaj  (land tax assessed upon non-Muslim landholders). According to the Jabiya agreement, revenue from the conquered territories was to be collected and given to the central government, and those who had participated in the campaigns of expansion would be enrolled in the diwan  (imperial) registers. Those so enrolled would be entitled to fixed stipends and land grants. The lands were thus not divided and parceled out among the military, but instead were controlled directly by the central government. Muslims would not settle these lands and pay the ushr (land tax assessed on Muslim proprietors, i.e., the tithe): rather, the original inhabitants would remain on their property, but would pay the kharaj. Under Islamic law, fay lands were thus held by the state, but its use was left in the possession of their inhabitants, who paid tribute from the revenues of the land to the central treasury of the state. Over the course of time the population increasingly became Muslim. The distinction between Hijazi and Syrian Muslims blurred, and the Muslims of Syria began, in effect, to pay the kharaj  along with the non-Muslims because they lived on conquered lands worked by non-Muslims. When the Mamluk territories, encompassing the later Ottoman provinces of Sidon, Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Tripoli (Libyan), Bengazi, the Hijaz, and Yemen, were conquered by the Ottomans, they were exempted from paying the normal miri  (imperial land) taxes because of their status as kharaj  land, unlike the Hijaz and Basra, which were categorizied as provinces paying the ushr  tax.

The Ottomans, after their conquest of the Arab provinces and the creation of the Eyalet (Province) of Damascus during the years 1517-1520, recognized existing practices regarding the taxation of arable land in the Province of Damascus. In keeping with the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, upon their conquest of the Arab provinces, the Ottomans declared these conquered territories as belonging to the bayt mal al-muslimin  (the common treasury of the state), to be used for the benefit of all Muslims, and by extension, the dhimmis, or protected minorities living among them. As such, under the Ottomans, the conquered lands of Syria continued to be considered kharaj  lands whose usufruct could be granted or leased out in the name of the bayt al-mal  by the Sultan as imam (leader), of the Muslim community. The Ottomans organized the systems administering awqaf, timars  (military land grants), and iltizams/malikanes (tax farms) on the varying types of land that they conquered. The Ottomans also had a well-articulated system for administering trade, and all other forms of production and property, based upon the sixteenth century Siyasetname  (Administrative Law Code) of Sulayman the Magnificent. Devised by the brilliant Ebu Su’ud Effendi, the Shaykh al-Islam  (Chief Jurisconsult of the Empire) based upon the Shari’ah and the Qanun (administrative law), this code stipulated that land could be disposed of (in the legal sense of disposition or use) in three ways: it could be assigned as a grant in return for military service, it could be leased directly to cultivators, or it could be held in perpetual trust for the Muslim subjects of the empire as waqf. Many parcels of land throughout the Ottoman Empire’s Arab provinces were divided and subdivided into fractions, some of which were assigned as military estates and some of which were assigned as waqf, while other portions may have been private property or shared pasture land. The land tenure system was designed to prevent the permanent alienation of land from the state, with one single exception: the assignment of land by the Sultan to an individual as milk (private property). This property always would revert ultimately to the state upon the death of the owner and his descendants. During much of the Ottoman period, the city of Jerusalem was administered as a part of the Province of Damascus following the pattern of the classical timar  system—some land in Jerusalem’s hinterlands was granted to military officers in return for their service to the Sultan. Other lands, recognized as property held as waqf  by the Greek Orthodox Church (and a few others as well) under previous Muslim dynasties (the Ayyubids and the Mamluks), were integrated into the Ottoman administration. The city was the capital of the sanjaq  of Jabal al-Quds  (the administrative district of the mountains of Jerusalem). Other sanjaqs  of the southern part of the Provinces of Sidon and Damascus—Jabal Nablus, Gaza, Jaffa, Ramla, Lydda, Acre, Hebron, Sidon, Jenin, Tulkarem, Karak—were all tied to Jerusalem through the legal system, evidenced by documents regarding cases from these towns scattered throughout the Ottoman Islamic court registers. The sanjaq  of Jerusalem and the mountainous lands of the sanjaq of Nablus (Jabal Nablus) were distinguished geographically from what is called in the court registers "the land of Palestine" (ard filastin) encompassing the towns of Gaza, Ramla, and Lydda (Lod).

This distinction tallies with the description of Palestine given by Volney in the late eighteenth century, who described it as a geographical unit including all of the land "between theMediterranean to the West and the chain of mountains to the East, and two lines, one drawnto the South, by Khan Younes, and the other to the North, between Kaisaria [Caesarea] andthe rivulet of Yafa [Jaffa]." He noted that Palestine was "almost entirely a level plain, without either river or rivulet in summer, but watered by several torrents in winter" and thatit was "a district independent of every pashalic [sanjaq ]," which occasionally had "governorsof its own, who reside at Gaza under the title of Pashas; but it is usually, as at present,divided into three appanages, or melkana, viz. Yafa, Loudd [Lydda/Lod] and Gaza.” Thus, the term ard filastin, "the land of Palestine," was used during the Ottoman period to refer specifically to a geographical area in agricultural use and divided into taxfarms, whether administered as independent sanjaqs or attached to adjacent sanjaqsHistorically this land was controlled directly by the central government in Istanbul by leasing it to Ottoman officers. In the period before the invasion, ‘Abdullah Pasha, governor of Sidon, obtained the lease. The important point here is that a significant portion of the richagricultural lands identified in the Islamic court records dating from the Ottoman period as“Palestine” were not attached to the imperial awqaf of Jerusalem, and thus were not administered by the notables of the city representing the Ottoman government, but directlyby the Ottoman government in Istanbul. To the south lay Hebron, sometimes nominally apart of the sanjaq of Jerusalem, but in fact a rebellious and nearly autonomous town with apowerful and militant leadership of its own.In Jerusalem, the Ottomans administered Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of theRock together with the Waqf of the Two Noble Sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina (al- Haramayn al-Sharifayn ). This admininstrative feature explains the relative unimportance of Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire. Since the three cities were organized for purposes ofrevenue as one institution, and since the Ottomans placed a higher degree of importance on Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem was overshadowed in an institutional sense. Nevertheless, its rank as the third holiest city did confer status and important privileges to the ulama (learned authorities) who served as administrators of the imperial awqaf  there. One of the most important posts in the city was the shaykh al-haram, (the superintendent of the Dome of theRock and Al-Aqsa). Moreover, al-Aqsa had its own waqf, as did other mosques, tombs,schools, hospices, etc., which received revenues from many shops, agricultural lands, andother income-producing urban and rural properties throughout Bilad al-Sham which were dedicated and assigned to them. In the sixteenth century, the wife of Sulayman the Magnificent, originally a Christian from somewhere in the Russian Empire, endowed the Khasseki Sultan imaret (foundation, waqf ) with Greek Orthodox church properties in the vicinity of Bethlehem, Lydda andRamla. The Palestinian National Authority still recognizes this fact, and the Christian tenantsand sharecroppers who have resided on these lands still are not the legal landowners. Thefinancial support of the Holy Cities, and the annual hajj pilgrimage, obviously were not solelya Palestinian responsibility. Financial obligations were imposed not only on towns and villages in the administrative districts of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Hebron, but also on othercities throughout the empire, including Damascus, Aleppo and cities in Anatolia and theBalkans. The Waqf of Sayyidna Ibrahim al-Khalil (Abraham, the Beloved Friend of God, as heis known to Muslims) located in Hebron, and known in the West as the Tomb of thePatriarchs, held claim to the revenues of many southern Palestinian villages and agriculturallands and was administered as a part of the other important imperial awqaf. Peasants livingon lands dedicated to the support of these awqaf were among those exempted from paying the miri (imperial land tax, or kharaj )—instead, they paid to support the Hajj and theHaramayn awqaf. For example, taxes (payable in kind) were assessed on land held as awqaf by the Greek Orthodox church in Bethlehem and its neighboring villages throughout thedistrict of Jerusalem. Such lands—and this means most of the arable lands in Bethlehem, for example— are still categorized in this manner to this day. This fact has the Christians livingin these regions are literally caught between a rock and a hard place today—their village lands are still categorized as waqf with double ownership: the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the owner of the use of the property and the property itself, and the KhassekiSultan Waqf, which claims a share of the produce of the land. This complicated situation hasallowed the Israelis to confiscate what they call abandoned state lands in the West Bank, which in the past were administered by the Porte, and by Hamas, which now claims allproperty is waqf, belonging to the Muslim community.

The sharecroppers and tenants who worked these lands never received the “tapu” registration required for private land under the Ottoman Land Law of 1858 because these lands were waqf. Moreover, unworked land lapsed after three years into the category of mawat, (waste lands), which the Israelis also claim to have the right to confiscate, as againstthe HAMAS claim that all land in Palestine belongs to the Muslim community as waqf, no matter its condition. Under Ottoman law, to the contrary, a tenant who brought dead landsinto cultivation could claim it as mulk, or freehold land. And if there was a time of politicalinstability, peasants could leave the region until calm was restored within three years withoutlosing their claim to land that they had improved. None of these laws is still in effect today.Some two-thirds of the actual sum of the jizya (per capital poll tax on non-Muslim dhimmis ) revenues collected in the district of Jerusalem in the first half of the nineteenth century ended up in the hands of the provincial governor of Damascus, who at the time also served as the amir al ! hajj, the commander of the hajj caravan from that city. It followed thatthe Porte would entrust this official with the collection and disbursement of the  jizya. Inother words, under the Ottomans, taxes paid by Jews and Christians in Jerusalem and itsenvirons actually were sent outside of their territories to support the pilgrimage caravan tothe Muslim Holy Cities in the Hijaz and the Haramayn Waqf  Jerusalem, governed within the framework of Ottoman provincial administration,derived its status, then, from Muslim land law, but was not identified with Palestine underOttoman rule. During the period of Sultan Mahmud II’s reforms in the 1820s, theOttomans explicitly identified the Muslim sanctuary in the city of Jerusalem, and itsimportant imperial awqaf, with the exempted Sharifate (the Office of the Descendants of theProphet) of Mecca and Medina (known to the Ottomans and other Muslims as the Haramayn (the Two Sanctuaries). Unlike current Palestinian usage of the term, during the Ottoman period "haramayn " did not refer to the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, or to thebuildings of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem and the Tomb of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Cave ofMachpelah) in Hebron, each of which had their own awqaf in addition to becoming attached to the Haramayn waqf during the centralization of religious institutions under a new ministryby the Ottomans in the nineteenth century. The term traditionally had a specific meaning to Muslims, including the Ottomans: itreferred only to the Holy Cities of the Hijaz. Jerusalem was called "thalith al-haramayn," (the third after the Two Holy Places). When, near the end of his life in 1566, Sulayman theMagnificent dedicated additional revenues and produce from throughout Bilad al-Sham (theSyrian Provinces of the Ottoman Empire) in support of the Khasseki Sultan Waqf (The Endowment of His Beloved Wife), for example, one of the titles he used to describe himself was "khadim al-Haramayn " “Servant of the Two Holy Cities,” referring to the Holy Cities of  Mecca and Medina.

Indeed, this relationship was manifested in the special fiscal relationship of Jerusalem with the Haramayn that was central to Ottoman administration of the city, particularly during the reform period of Mahmud II, all the way up to the Turkish defeat in the First World War in 1917 and the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate on March 3, 1924. Therefore, what was actually “waqf” were some lands scattered, throughout the empire: some of which belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, which had to pay the jizya and kharaj taxes on lands it leased to peasants to work. These individuals had to pay taxes, including a land tax as a portion of the produce to support the waqf which funded the Hajj Pilgrimage and the four Muslim sanctuaries of Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Hebron. “Palestine” therefore was most definitely NOT a waqf under Islamic or Ottoman law. It was governed completely separately under the military land grant system and its lands were leased as iltizam/malikane (tax-farms).

II. Awqaf Under Ottoman Control

Under Islamic law, a waqf is a legal entity, comprising land or property whose revenues are set aside to benefit the entire Muslim community and its non-Muslim inhabitants who were considered as having joined the ummah by agreeing to accept Islamic rule. It has long been thought that this stipulation meant that such trusts were endowed for charitable purposes, and that it was the charitable purpose of such awqaf which made them valid and sound under Islamic and Ottoman law. However, that is not the case. A valid Islamic waqf, the waqf sahih, came to mean an endowment that is made from lands that pay the ushr or kharaj tax. The meaning of the waqf in the Ottoman context is that such lands can never be permanently alienated from the central treasury of the Islamic state— bayt mal al- muslimin. Property and land so endowed thus became in essence inalienable, removed from legal transfer, as church property is in the West. Since the ownership of such property ultimately belongs to God, only the use of the property, and the produce and revenues that it yields can be allotted to the beneficiaries of the waqf. The logic of this arrangement is based on the Islamic notion of the common good of the people residing in a just state, whose resources are exploited and protected for the benefit of all Muslims. In the mid-1820s, Sultan Mahmud II began to implement reforms in waqf administration throughout the empire. He sought to reassert direct state control over all awqaf in the empire, based upon the formal recognition of the previously uncodified, but inherent distinction between canonically valid and invalid awqaf. This distinction was always inherent in the Ottoman system: Mahmud formalized it in order to reassert control of all miri—state lands in the empire. From this period onward, under Ottoman law, there were two officially recognized forms of awqaf: waqf sahih (the valid waqf) and the waqf ghayr sahih (invalid waqf). Valid awqaf were made from lands paying the kharaj and the ushr, and thus were located in Syria, Iraq, and the Hijaz. Invalid endowments, however, reassigned revenues due to the treasury ostensibly for some religious or charitable purpose or a specific purpose by which awqaf could legitimately be established. There were three types of the "invalid" awqaf accepted by the Ottomans until 1825. The first type allowed the revenues of land to be made waqf, while the substance of the land, and its right of use and possession, were kept by the treasury; the second, the right of use is given as waqf, while the substance and revenues remain with the treasury; and the third type assigned both possession and revenue to the waqf, while the substance remains with the treasury. Under Ottoman administrative law after 1826, all awqaf not falling under the category of sahih were deemed invalid, since they were established upon land that had been alienated at some point from imperial lands. It is often thought that charitable and religious trusts were valid because they were established for ostensibly religious or charitable purposes. However, this is a misplaced assumption that has caused great confusion in the interpretation of the institution of the waqf in the Ottoman period. What is important is not the purpose of the waqf, nor the type of possession, but the nature of the land in the Ottoman system of land tenure. These reforms reiterated that the lands of Syria, including the sanjaq of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Sidon were not waqf.

That this was the clear situation is the Ottoman response to a request made on 28 May 28, 1837 recorded in the registers of the Islamic court in Jerusalem. The governing council (majlis) of Jerusalem asserted in a petition asking the Sultan to bar a group of Ashkenazi Jews from conducting trade in the city because “the lands of this region are miri and waqf.” The Muslim authorities of the city clearly understood that the land in the region was state land, and that some of it had been set aside as waqf. This request the Porte denied. Indeed, in other cases, the Porte ruled that foreigners could purchase waqf property in order to restore it to productivity and usefulness. When the Ottoman Empire disintegrated and the Turks surrendered and withdrew from its Arab provinces, the Muslim community no longer had a Muslim sovereign whose legitimacy they accepted as the ultimate authority to decide political questions. When the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, the problem of sovereignty thus became the basic political issue facing Muslims: should Islamic control be restored over the former Arab provinces, and if so, how should it be constituted? The Turkish defeat led to the de facto separation of the Palestinian, Syrian and Hijazi elements of the Haramayn Waqf. Thereafter, the term in Palestinian usage came to mean first, Jerusalem and Hebron, referring to the two sanctuaries—Al-Aqsa and Sayyidna Khalil. After 1948, when Hebron went under Hashemite sovereignty, the term “Haramayn” came to refer to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

III. Enter The Muslim Brotherhood 
 
The Muslim Brotherhood is a modern ideological movement that was founded inEgypt in 1928. Ideologically it was shaped by the anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism inEgypt and the Middle East generally, and by the Arab-Jewish conflict in mandatory Palestine specifically. The Muslim Brotherhood has long been the most important of the Sunniopposition groups in the Arab world. Its aim is to reestablish the Caliphate and to governaccording to the Shariah. While legal in Transjordan and then Jordan, it has been banned inEgypt and Syria, where it threatens to overthrow the current regimes. Violent splintergroups of the Brotherhood have arisen worldwide. Rashid Rida, Hassan al-Banna, andSayyid Qutb are the chief ideologues of the movement. They sought to create a vanguard tooppose the secularization of Islamic society, which they thought was accelerated through theintroduction of imperialism, capitalism, Zionism, socialism, and communism in the periodleading up to the First World War. The Salafi Movement, and therefore the Muslim Brotherhood rejects all Muslimregimes since the death of ‘Ali as illegitimate and un-Islamic, and of all of these, considersthe Ottoman Empire the most illegitimate. The Wahhabi doctrine has been at the heart ofSaudi Arabian identity since its first irruption in 1740 when they rejected the legitimacy ofthe Ottoman Empire. The Arabs remember Turkish rule as a time of oppression andsubjugation. Arab nationalist animosity regarding the historic legacy of the Ottomans burnshot to this day: from this perspective, the Ottoman defeat was at once a judgment on the Turks and a challenge to the Arabs, who struggled between the various ideological options available to them in the period between the world wars and thereafter. The entire twentiethcentury framed the failures of all of their ideological movements to solve the politicaldilemmas posed to the Arabs by the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Saudis and the Hashemite Jordanians competed for most of the last centuryover which dynasty could legitimately claim to be the rightful guardian of the Islamic HolyCities: Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. The impact of this competition was to furtherfragment the Arab Muslim political consensus over the fate of the lands entrusted by theLeague of Nations to the British in the form of a mandate to govern the region until itsinhabitants were ready for self-governance. When King Hussein ultimately relinquished hisclaims to the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1988, leaving the PLO to administer their Islamicinstitutions, Yasser Arafat actually had to make dual appointments of key Islamic positions.Both Jordanian- and Saudi-approved officials initially served the Palestinian National Authority, since the PLO needed to assuage both powers in order to continue to receivetheir financial—and political support. Only when it became clear that Arafat had thrown inhis lot with the Iranians during the Karina incident in the midst of the Al-Aqsa Intifada didboth Saudi Arabia and Jordan abandon the PA. Since Arafat’s death, both Saudi Arabia and Jordan have been cooperating with the PA in order to attempt to rein in HAMAS and keep Iran out. They have not succeeded.
 
IV. The Islamicization of the Palestinian Resistance 
 
The British, who invented a status quo in Palestine by creating de novo an Islamic administration in Palestine by placing in the office of the “mufti” Hajj Amin al-Hussayni, who engineered the policies that generated the dominant, and most radical, Arab response toZionism. His fingerprints are all over the Islamic administration in Jerusalem even today. The fact that the mufti’s religious polemic led to the Nakba, the catastrophic Arab defeat in 1948, was precisely the reason that the Palestinian liberation movement reframed its opposition to Israel in terms of secular Arab nationalism. The Islamicization of the Palestinian resistance to Zionism began with the British creation of the office of “Grand Mufti” in 1918 and the appointment of Hajj Amin as muftiin 1922. Traditionally, a mufti is a religious authority, or jurisconsult, who issues decisionsrelating to Islamic law. Under the British Mandate, for the first time the mufti became thehighest Muslim official in Palestine. He was also named president of the newly createdSupreme Muslim Council, becoming the officially recognized religious and political leader ofthe Palestinian Arabs. The fact that the mufti and his policies were opposed by the majorityof the Palestinian Arabs for many different reasons, including those who took exception to his interpretation of Islam and Zionism, has emerged in Palestinian and Zionist historiography only recently. Hajj Amin, whose influence on Palestinian political culture remains profound to thisday, was deeply influenced by Rashid Rida, the leading Islamist teacher when he was a youngman. As a soldier in the Ottoman army he was stationed in Smyrna where he witnessed the Turkish extermination of the Armenians, an event that left him deeply impressed by Turkishracial nationalism. He traveled to Damascus to support Faisal, who had declared an Arabstate in Syria only to be expelled by France. On Amin’s return to Palestine in 1921 he soonbecame involved in riots against the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration. Hebecame a fugitive from British justice for his radical politics, but then was neverthelesspardoned, and placed in control of all former Ottoman awqaf properties and the Islamiccourt bureaucracy in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine by Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner of the British Mandate. The mufti, however, had had no Islamic religioustraining or certification as a member of the ulama, the Muslim officials trained and authorized to make religious decisions in the Islamic world. At first, the mufti may have been hopeful that the British would treat the Arabs in Palestine fairly. While he was working on building an Arab Islamic university in the Mamilla district in West Jerusalem adjacent to the site of a Muslim cemetery in the late ‘20s, he worked with Jewish architects and construction crews to build the Palace Hotel, which he envisioned as a business whose profits would fund the university. The cemetery actually extended further than was then known, as the builders discovered when they began excavating to lay the foundation of the new hotel. The mufti sought to change the purpose of the waqf, endowed by Salah al-Din after his siege of the city in 1187 in order to build the campus, including the hotel. Thus, despite the fact that he worked closely with Jews while he was leading the Arab Higher Committee’s building program, early on his attitude towards them changed. He also rejected and dissolved the secular-nationalist Moslem-Christian Associations and began emphasizing the idea that the Palestine was waqf   —the possession of the Muslim ummah in perpetuity. In the absence of Muslim sovereignty during the Mandate, he merged the idea of waqf, the kind of property that the Muslim authorities had administered before 1917, with the idea of state land (timar), a factor in 1837 but no longer.
 

Amin began collaborating with Hassan al-Banna, considered the father of the MuslimBrotherhood, in 1935. The mufti thus articulated the idea that Palestine itself is a “waqf” sometime between 1929, when the Palace Hotel opened, and 1935, when they founded theMuslim Brotherhood in support of the Arab Higher Committee’s opposition to Zionism. Hajj Amin was able to rally a force of about two thousand Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood volunteers who fought in the Negev against the nascent Israeli state, and to field a Palestinian militia under the leadership of Qassam al-Ahmad, who was killed at Qastel and who has become the eponymous inspiration for the armed brigade of Hamas today. Following the Mandate Period, the administration of Muslim institutions in Palestine shifted to the Transjordanian Ministry of Religious Foundations. Transjordan had de facto sovereignty over al-Haram al-Sharif  (aka the Temple Mount) and paid the salaries of the Muslim officials employed in the Islamic court. The Muslim Brotherhood became the channel for Salafi ideas during this time. Outlawed for decades in Egypt and Syria, after1948 clandestine cells operated in Muslim towns and villages in the West Bank and Gaza under Jordanian rule, even when the cells in Egypt and Syria were practically wiped out. However, as a result of the 1948 war, Transjordan took possession of the Temple Mount and the administration of waqf properties and the Islamic courts in the West Bank as protector and guardian of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem and Haram al-Khalil in Hebron in 1950. Thus the Hashemite dynasty administered the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem until1988, when King Hussein relinquished his sovereign claim to the Palestinian National Authority. In 1964, President Gamal abd al-Nasser, Egypt, created the Palestinian Liberation Organization to fight a guerilla war against Israel. The PLO’s Muslim leadership included 

members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the majority were secular nationalists, many of whom were nominal Christians. For the next thirty years, the PLO waged battle ostensibly with the support of the majority of all Palestinians, and, although the corruption and authoritarian nature of Arafat’s rule became well-known, they were willing to overlook his flaws in order to present a unified front against Israel, to share in his increasing power and international status, and to hold onto some sense of dignity. Egypt took over the Gaza Stripin 1948 using what Nasser claimed was the “State of Palestine” to infiltrate groups of Palestinian fighters into Israel until his ignominious defeat in 1967. In the 1970s and early 80s, Israel permitted Saudi Arabia to fund an alternative group of Muslim administrators and officials, which eventually led to the establishment of the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, as the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 

 HAMAS emerged as an alternative to the failed policies of the Palestinian LiberationOrganization, FATAH in the late 1980s. For the employees of the court, like manyPalestinian Muslims, many of whom were sympathetic to, if not members of the MuslimBrotherhood, this was an exciting development, an opportunity for those who had remainedunder Israeli occupation to regain some of the power that the “outsiders” –the PLO—hadasserted over them, the “insiders” who had steadfastly endured under the Israeli“occupation.” Discussions surrounding the disposition of Saudi Arabian charity from the PLO via SAMED—the “Steadfastness Fund” which provided social services to the Palestinian poor, widows, and orphans, and the sick—to the nascent HAMAS organization were intense. SAMED: Palestinian Martyrs Works Society – established in 1970 to provide vocational training to the children of Palestinian martyrs; played an important role – in the1970s and 1980s, and especially during the First Intifada – in the economic and social welfare infrastructure of the Palestinian communities. The emergence of HAMAS in the mid-1980s resulted from a Faustian bargain the Israelis made with the Saudis, allowing them to build mosques and provide social servicesthrough funds and personnel as a counterbalance to the PLO. Some people even suspectthat an Israeli agent helped to name the movement—pronounced in Hebrew as “

KHamas,” which means “terror” –to make the message clear. Dividing the Palestinians along ideological lines certainly has been advantageous to those Israelis and Palestinians who oppose negotiating a settlement. The homicide bombings and their inevitable reprisals have made Palestinians and Israelis pay a heavy price for this political decision. The resulting polarization has hastened the re-Islamicization of Palestinian society. It has also prevented the PLO from achieving any tangible political goals and reignited virulent anti-Semitism.Popular Palestinian frustration with the corrupt and ineffective PLO, exiled into seeming oblivion in Tunis in 1982, particularly in the years before the First Intifada of the Stones (1987-2002), enabled HAMAS to emerge in 1986 as the most robust political rival to the PLO.
 

On July 28, 1988 King Hussein of Jordan relinquished the Hashemite claim to Jerusalem, as well as the right to govern the West Bank or the Palestinians. The Islamic court employees were now to be paid by the PLO, preparing the way for the Palestinian National Authority, led by the PLO, to take over the administration of Islamic institutions in Jerusalem. Weakened by the war in Lebanon, its Tunisian exile, and the fall of the SovietUnion in 1989 the PLO committed itself to the peace process just as HAMAS began to emerge as a political force. Meanwhile, during the Iraq War of 1990, Arafat had thrown his support behind Saddam Hussein, thereby incurring the wrath of Saudi Arabia. After a short period of time, during which there were two parallel groups of Muslim officials in the PNA, one Jordanian-trained and one Saudi-trained, the Palestinians chose the Saudis in order to placate them. These developments solidified the position of HAMAS in Palestinian Islamic institutions, and explain the intricate connections between FATAH/PNA and HAMAS during the al- Aqsa Intifada in the early 2000s. What the Israelis did not expect was the cooptation of the Islamists by the PLO, which lasted until the death of Arafat. The Al-Aqsa Intifada of 2000 was characterized by a vicious cycle of suicide bombings and Israeli reprisals, which, along with the corruption and tyranny of Arafat, destroyed law and order in the territories. With his passing, the time had come for HAMAS to challenge its “brother” resistance movement by leveraging Iranian support via Syria. The resulting complete breakdown of civil society in Palestine was the tragic legacy of the Oslo Peace Process. Eventually, to the horror of Palestinian moderates who supported a two-state agreement with Israel, including many members of the PLO, an overwhelming majority democratically elected HAMAS to power in Gaza January 6, 2006. Under the shadow of an increasingly belligerent Iran, a belated, and failed, Saudi attempt to forge a moderate coalition of the PLO and HAMAS was followed by the brutal expulsion of the PLO from Gaza on June 15, 2007. HAMAS is now completely under the control of Tehran, according to former Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziyad Abu Amr, the Palestinian scholar-diplomat who failed to convince HAMAS to recognize Israel and engage in diplomacy under the aegis of Saudi Arabia.

 
 The ideology that has driven Israeli policy in Jerusalem and the West Bank for more than four decades, especially the suppression of the emergence of municipal self-government in the Arab villages of East Jerusalem and the neglect of the Arab inhabitants in the Occupied Territories, has undermined moderate Palestinians who sought a negotiated peace. The Second Intifada resulted in the breakdown of Palestinian society, including its legal,political, and social institutions. The violence of the Israeli response has radicalized the Palestinians even more, because the deaths of many innocent victims—family members, friends, and neighbors—who now include everyone in Gaza— are indelibly imprinted inPalestinian minds. The re-Islamicization of the conflict, enabled by the belief that their only alternative is armed struggle is almost universal among both Muslim and Christian Palestinians that I spoke with during my most recent trip to Bethlehem. The first, theIntifada of the Stones, began as a non-violent tax revolt in Bethlehem soon turned violent when Islamists took control of the narrative. The catastrophic Islamist Al-Aqsa Intifada,characterized by the collaboration of the PLO with HAMAS, has just barely been quelled on the West Bank, where the PNA is achieving a semblance of law and order. However, the foreboding calls for “Days of Rage” called for by members of the Palestinian cabinet illustrate how easily the current campaign of non-violence could easily dissolve into another armed uprising. However, there is another dimension to this situation.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the “Nakba” (“Catastrophe”) in which 600,000 Christian and Muslim Arabs lost their homes, the Palestinian national movement was basically secular. It is still politically incorrect to focus on sectarian identities in discussing Palestinian politics, primarily because Palestinian Christians desire to be understood as in fraternal solidarity with Muslim Palestinians against Zionism. The ahistorical claim that Palestine is waqf  however, now represents a very real threat to the historically Christian communities on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. In March 2010, Palestinian activists are resurrecting the 1970s/80s concept of “sumud” (“solidarity”) to frame the third, ostensibly non-violent, “Al-Quds” (“Jerusalem”) Intifada, which has been called in the wake of Israeli settlement projects in East Jerusalem. As Asma Afsarrudin, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame has rightly asserted, …although the system of dhimma (literally, protection) extended to Jews and Christians was considered sufficiently humane in pre-Modern Muslim societies, today it would rightly be considered as plainly discriminatory and unjust within the modern state system, which defines citizenship not by faith but on the basis of birthplace and residence. This view, however, is under direct attack by HAMAS, which seeks to establish an Islamic state governed by Islamic law. Following the April 2, 2002 takeover of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem by the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade/Tanzim and the punitive Israeli attacks on that town during the duration of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the position of moderates in the West Bank became extremely tenuous. With the takeover of HAMAS in Gaza, the situation deteriorated completely. And, as Benny Morris argues, the maximalist Muslim position, that all Palestine is waqf, is at its heart the same jihadist position that has characterized Arab opposition to Israel all along.

V. Alternative Interpretations

War between Muslims and Jews is not inevitable. Muslim moderates are challenging the ideologically-driven Islamist apologetic against Israel. The most important one is Imam Abdul-Hadi Palazzi, Secretary-General of the Italian Muslim Association and Director of the Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, who has been calling for a revitalization of traditional Sunni Islam. He has taken aim at the historical amnesia of the Islamist movement.

In his response to the 2001 statement made by the mufti of Jerusalem denying Jewish ties to the Haram al-Sharif, Palazzi wrote that Sabri “is representative of those [Muslims] who repudiate “… the Jewish heritage [of Islam] as a whole, with the clear attempt even to remove it from historical memory.” Muslims are so ignorant of their own history that they are “really inclined to take these words for granted, notwithstanding the fact that they contradict both historical evidence and Islamic sources.” He argues against the Salafi claim that Palestine is an Islamic waqf by revisiting the issues surrounding the Night Journey. To remember the historical milieu compels every sincere observer to admit that there is no necessary connection between al-Miraj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem since, in the time when the Prophet… consecrated the place with his footprints on the Stone, the City was not a part of the Islamic State – whose borders were then limited to the Arabian Peninsula – but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, although radical preachers try to remove this from exegesis, the Glorious Quran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims. We read in Surah al-Baqarah: “…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qiblah), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer….” All Quranic annotators explain that "thy qiblah" is obviously the Kaabah of Mecca, while "their qiblah" refers to the Temple Site in Jerusalem. To quote just one of the most important of them, we read in Qadi Baydawi’s Commentary: “Verily, in their prayers Jews orientate themselves toward the Rock (al-Sakhrah), while Christians orientate themselves eastwards….” Palazzi concludes that the Quran reveals the Jewish connection with Jerusalem. As opposed to what sectarian radicals continuously claim, the Book that is a guide for those who abide by Islam—as we have just now shown—recognizes Jerusalem as Jewish direction of prayer…. After…deep reflection about the implications of this approach, it is not difficult to understand that separation in directions of prayer is a mean[s] to decrease possible rivalries in [the] management of [the] Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims…complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view… there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem. Other Muslims are challenging the HAMAS/Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrines on Israel to show that the Qur’an recognizes that God has given the Jews Jerusalem as an eternal bequest.

There is an alternative Muslim narrative regarding the Jews and the Muslims of these small settler enclaves is to proclaim Jewish superiority everywhere, while disrupting the tissue of co-existence that depends on leaving Palestinians spaces of their own. Israelis often protest Palestinian complaints that Israel really doesn’t want peace. Wahrman helps us to see why the Palestinians believe this. In every case the government and the municipality – currently run by a right-wing mayor, Nir Barkat, who seems all too eager to stoke any fire that comes his way – put forth arguments that supposedly justify the invasion. Some are legal arguments about ownership, sometimes going back eighty years (as in the case of Sheikh Jarrah) and sometimes based on a recent purchase (as in the case of the Shepherd Hotel). Some are historical arguments, mobilizing traditional Jewish associations of those particular spots – partly true, partly invented or stretched – to buttress a claim from times immemorial. But the goal, the methods, and the consequences are always the same: an intrusive encroachment into Palestinian space, eyesore houses emblazoned with Israeli flags, aggressive settlers that often seek confrontation with the neighboring Palestinians, and a permanent disruptive presence of Israeli military and police that inevitably follow the settlers. That the legal argument is but a veneer is demonstrated by the fact that ever since the incongruous high-rise intrusion into the Palestinian village of Silwan, named by the settlers “Yehonatan House,” was declared by Israeli courts illegal and due for immediate demolition, Jerusalem’s mayor has openly defied this ruling. Wahrman writes, “In terms of sheer damage to co-existence in a complicated city, therefore, twenty units in Sheikh Jarrah sow more immediate hatred than 1600 units in Ramat Shlomo.” And he is right. The propoganda value of such policies is great. Last fall, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation invited a 16-year old Muslim girl whose entire family had been evicted from their home and was now living in the street to speak at a conference on Arab-Jewish relations. They young girl described in great detail how she and her family lived their lives day-to-day, trying to go to school and work while living on the street. Anecdote upon anecdote builds up the dossier against Israel’s infringements upon the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Wahrman argues against the assertions of Ambassador Harrop and authors Chesin, Hutman and Melamed, writing, To present such aggressive acts as a continuation of the policies of Israeli governments over 43 years is simply untrue. Until recently, Israeli governments carefully avoided such conflicts, and thus allowed Jewish-Arab coexistence in the Holy City to remain surprisingly resilient in the face of many challenges during the first generation after 1967. Efforts to disrupt this pattern began by individuals and small groups, often with private American funding. Their intensification over the last decade and a half has largely flown under the radar, despite being a development with momentous consequences (much greater, say, than those of the settlement ‘outposts’ that have received so much attention). Their protestations of innocence notwithstanding, the support for this game-changing policy from Netanyahu’s government together with the zealous mayor of Jerusalem is unprecedented. Wahrman finds the current Israeli government to blame for the deterioration of Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government is deliberately undermining this balance and rapidly changing the urban circumstances, thus rendering a compromise less and less likely. As it turns out, counter to Netanyahu’s claims, these actions are not in the Israeli vaunted “Consensus.” Even at this juncture when the left in Israel is unprecedently [sic] weak, many Israelis (42% according to a recent poll) oppose these new Israeli policies and support a complete freeze of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The U.S. should not let manipulative rhetoric about the eternal city and 3000 years of history obfuscate the actual intersection of historical and geographic facts, nor stand in the way of the policy conclusions that must be drawn from them. However, taking the larger view, which includes not only the municipality of Jerusalem, but the issue of settlements and Israeli “heritage sites” in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and the entire course of the conflict, it is not only the Jerusalem municipality or Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians which is to blame for the current impasse. The Palestinians’ continued willingness to support violent action against Israel, and their continued hope for a one state solution, has resulted, contrary to all reason, to support for HAMAS. Emboldened by its defeat of FATAH in Gaza in 2007, and backed by an extraordinarily aggressive Iran, the maximalists again are threatening to lead the Palestinian remnant to their complete destruction. All attempts to convince the Palestinians to abandon jihadist ideology have failed, despite the fact that the Arab world is ready to accommodate Israel in the current Middle Eastern state system.

Recent calls for a bi-national, secular state instead of a two-state solution are distractions from the real issues at hand. Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people, fostering the development of municipal and national government in Gaza and the West Bank, and fighting against Islamist opportunism are goals that can be achieved under the shadow of the Iranian threat. Only on the micro-level can political progress be made. The conflict has to become localized. Only by rejecting the regionalization of the political issues facing the Palestinian and Israeli conflict can the international threats on the macro-level be challenged. The general squalor of the Muslim and Christian Quarters (including the Armenian Quarter) stands in contrast to the beautifully restored Jewish Quarter. The municipality should work with organizations seeking to preserve these monuments as a show of good faith before the radicals turn the city into a battleground. Perhaps Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, as part of a reconceptualized peace process, could work to restore the neglected Muslim neighborhoods and monuments of Jerusalem in a bid to fend off Hamas and Islamic Jihad as they seek to cash in on Muslim anger over this neglect. Israel and her international allies could urge UNESCO to move on Jordan’s nomination of the Old City of Jerusalem as a World Heritage site, and invite international investment in the restoration of neglected treasures. Building a few playgrounds might prevent the march to making Jerusalem a battlefield once again. In 2009, the Palestinian academic, intellectual, and cultural communities attempted to celebrate Jerusalem’s Arab identity, but Israel frustrated these of these small settler enclaves is to proclaim Jewish superiority everywhere, while disrupting the tissue of co-existence that depends on leaving Palestinians spaces of their own. Israelis often protest Palestinian complaints that Israel really doesn’t want peace. Wahrman helps us to see why the Palestinians believe this. In every case the government and the municipality – currently run by a right-wing mayor, Nir Barkat, who seems all too eager to stoke any fire that comes his way – put forth arguments that supposedly justify the invasion. Some are legal arguments about ownership, sometimes going back eighty years (as in the case of Sheikh Jarrah) and sometimes based on a recent purchase (as in the case of the Shepherd Hotel). Some are historical arguments, mobilizing traditional Jewish associations of those particular spots – partly true, partly invented or stretched – to buttress a claim from times immemorial. But the goal, the methods, and the consequences are always the same: an intrusive encroachment into Palestinian space, eyesore houses emblazoned with Israeli flags, aggressive settlers that often seek confrontation with the neighboring Palestinians, and a permanent disruptive presence of Israeli military and police that inevitably follow the settlers. That the legal argument is but a veneer is demonstrated by the fact that ever since the incongruous high-rise intrusion into the Palestinian village of Silwan, named by the settlers “Yehonatan House,” was declared by Israeli courts illegal and due for immediate demolition, Jerusalem’s mayor has openly defied this ruling. Wahrman writes, “In terms of sheer damage to co-existence in a complicated city, therefore, twenty units in Sheikh Jarrah sow more immediate hatred than 1600 units in Ramat Shlomo.” And he is right. The propoganda value of such policies is great. Last fall, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation invited a 16-year old Muslim girl whose entire family had been evicted from their home and was now living in the street to speak at a conference on Arab-Jewish relations. They young girl described in great detail how she and her family lived their lives day-to-day, trying to go to school and work while living on the street. Anecdote upon anecdote builds up the dossier against Israel’s infringements upon the human rights of the Palestinian people.

A paradigm shift is needed to thwart the Islamist threat to Israel. Below are concrete steps towards localizing the conflict and to reinvigorate the peace process that could break the cycle of despair now characterizing the region within the parameters of the Beillin-Abu Mazen plan of 1995.

Immediate Steps Within the Realm of Realpolitik and Reason: Localize Conflict Management and Resolution 1. Establish embassies in West and East Jerusalem All states having diplomatic relations with Israel should immediately establish embassies in Israel and Palestine. Arab League states establish embassies in East and West Jerusalem. Use these embassies to kick start economic development and housing in various neighborhoods. 2. Latin Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and other Christian landowners in Palestine/Israel to cooperate by developing local community development boards. 3) UNESCO overseas restoration and preservation of Islamic monuments and archeological sites. Turkey to cooperate with Israel and Palestine with historical preservation projects. 4) Educational programs for Palestinian and Israeli students focusing on holy sites throughout the land. Educational institutions currently training tour guides to spearhead these efforts, emphasizing change and continuity over time. 5) Truth and Reconciliation commissions to document and memorialize history. Institutions of higher learning to cooperate with education ministries. 6) UNRWA to close refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Repatriate and reimburse Arab and Jewish refugees according to their wishes—return, compensation, or memorials—on a case-by-case basis

Voir aussi:

The Anti-Terror, Pro-Israel Sheikh
FrontPageMagazine.com
Jamie Glazov

September 12, 2005

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and a vocal critic of militant Islam.

FP: Hello Sheikh Palazzi, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is an honor to speak with you.

Palazzi: The honor is mine.

FP: One doesn’t find many prominent Muslim clerics today who openly denounce suicide bombings, let alone suicide bombings against Israelis. Yet you are quite vocal about supporting Israel’s right to exist. Tell us why, as a Muslim, you have come to this disposition and why you have received so much criticism from certain elements of the Muslim community for it.

Palazzi: As a scholar of Islamic Law, I believe that Islam permits wars under certain conditions (i.e., it permits some soldiers to fight against other soldiers when ordered to do so by the State), but strictly forbids taking military initiatives by individuals, groups or factions (which is referred as "fitnah", i.e., sedition), strictly forbids targeting civilians and strictly forbids committing suicide. Consequently, as a Muslim scholar, I must necessarily condemn suicide bombing as a matter of principle, irrespective of who the victims are. I am obliged to say that a suicide bomber is by no means a martyr of Islam, but a criminal who dies while committing acts which Islam views as capital crimes.

Regarding Israel, I beg your pardon but may I ask you to please consider refraining from speaking of Israel’s "right to exist." Affirming Israel’s "right to exist" is as unacceptable as denying that right, because even posing the question of whether or not the Children of Israel (Jews) — individually, collectively or nationally — have a "right to exist" is unacceptable. Israel exists by Divine Right, confirmed in both the Bible and Qur’an.

I find in the Qur’an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur’an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu’ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur’an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree.

Every time Arabs fought against Israel they suffered humiliating defeats. In opposing the will of God by making war on Israel, Arabs were in effect making war on God Himself. They ignored the Qur’an, and God punished them. Now, having learned nothing from defeat after defeat, Arabs want to obtain through terror what they were unable to obtain through war: the destruction of the State of Israel. The result is quite predictable: as they have been defeated in the past, the Arabs will be defeated again.

In 1919, Emir Feisal (leader of the Hashemite family, i.e., the leader of the family of the Prophet Muhammad) reached an Agreement with Chaim Weizmann for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab Kingdom having the Jordan river as a border between them. Emir Feisal wrote, "We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together. The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement."

In Feisal’s time, none claimed that accepting the creation of the State of Israel and befriending Zionism was against Islam. Even the Arab leaders who opposed the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement never resorted to an Islamic argument to condemn it. Unfortunately that Agreement was never implemented, since the British opposed the creation of the Arab Kingdom and chose to give sovereignty over Arabia to Ibn Sa’ud’s marauders, i.e., to the forefathers of the House of Sa’ud.

When the Saudis started ruling an oil rich kingdom, they also started investing a regular part of their wealth in spreading Wahhabism worldwide. Wahhabism is a totalitarian cult which stands for terror, massacre of civilians and for permanent war against Jews, Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims. The influence of Wahhabism in the contemporary Arab world is such that many Arab Muslims are wrongly convinced that, in order to be a good Muslim, one must hate Israel and hope for its destruction.

Incidentally, in countries where Wahhabism did not spread, this idea is not rooted. Most Muslims in Turkey, India, Indonesia, or the former Soviet Union do not believe at all that a good Muslim must necessarily be anti-Israel. To give some relevant examples, the leading Muslim scholar and former President of Indonesia, Shaykh Abdurrahman Wahid, is on friendly terms with Israel and also visited leaders of Jewish organizations in the United States. The Mufti of Sierra Leone, Sheikh Ahmed Sillah, is also a friend of Israel, as is the Mufti of European Russia, Sheikh Salman Farid.

An organization called "Muslims for Israel" was recently founded in Canada. Voicing pro-Israeli points of view obviously causes negative reactions from Wahhabi groups and Muslims influenced by Wahhabism. However, while those people verbally attack and circulate the most astonishing fabrications about me, I also receive encouragement and support from pro-Israel Muslims living in different parts of the world.

While visiting Israel, I was welcomed by a delegation of heads of Arab villages in the Jerusalem area. They were telling me how much they like living in Israel, and how much they fear being transferred to PLO rule. Many of the Arab inhabitants of Gush Katif today share the same feeling. They say, "Israelis give us jobs and an opportunity to live in peace. What kind of future awaits us under PLO?" I am sure that, were they free to speak and able to see the reality beyond propaganda, many more Arab Muslims would support my positions.

Irshad Manji, a pro-Israeli Muslim journalist from Canada, tells that some Muslims support her openly, yet many more Muslims tell her, "We are with you, but are afraid to tell it." The same happens to me in Italy, or when I visit Israel. As one knows, being anti-Israeli has become "politically correct" among Arabs. People are afraid to oppose what is "politically correct" even when they live in a democracy. What can one expect from those who live under totalitarian regimes and who have no access to a free press, but to governmental propaganda only? The world should give pro-Israeli Muslims a chance. We owe this to the memory of Anwar Sadat, martyred by those same Wahhabi terrorists who today spread terror everywhere.

In 1996, the Islam-Israel Fellowship of the Root & Branch Association was co-founded by myself and Dr. Asher Eder to promote cooperation between the State of Israel and Muslim nations, and between Jews and Muslims in Israel and abroad, to build a better world based upon a proper Jewish understanding of the Tanakh (Bible) and Jewish Tradition, and upon a proper Muslim understanding of the Qur’an (Koran) and Islamic Tradition. I recommend to FrontPage readers "Peace is Possible between Ishmael and Israel according to the Qur’an and the Tanach (Bible)" by Dr. Eder, with a Foreward by myself, which may be found at [www.rb.org.il ]. I also welcome your readers to visit my website at [ http://www.amislam.com ].

FP: Thank you Sheikh Palazzi. Tell us, if you believe in the life of the soul after death, where does the soul of the suicide bomber go?

Palazzi: Everyone who dies while committing capital sins such as suicide and murder will enter hellfire, except for the one who repents before death catches him. As for the one who dies without repenting for a capital sin — while having a correct doctrinal belief and believing that his sin was a sin — he will dwell in hellfire until his sin is expiated, or even less because of the eventual intercession of Prophets and pious people. However, those who die without repenting for a capital sin and without even believing it is a capital sin, will be denied entrance to heaven, and will dwell in hellfire as long as God wishes. However, God’s mercy is such that it completely prevails over his wrath, to the point where hellfire ultimately becomes an abode of relief.

In Islam, both murder and suicide are capital sins about whose nature no Muslim can either doubt or claim ignorance. Every Muslim must know that committing suicide and murder are forbidden in Islam, exactly as every Muslim knows that daily prayers are five, that the month of fasting is Ramadan, that the destination of pilgrimage is Mecca, etc.

Consequently, the one who dies as a suicide bomber and who does so while wrongly believing that his action is in accordance with Islam, actually dies without having correct doctrinal faith and without any opportunity of repentance, and consequently will permanently dwell in hellfire and will never be admitted to heaven. Denying that suicide and murder are capital sins in Islam represents a lack of correct doctrinal faith according to the Shari’a.

FP: Kindly relate to us your experience at the University of California in Santa Barbara on March 4, 2004, when you came on campus and denounced terrorism. Many Muslim students from the Muslim Students Association at UCSB tried to shout you down. What happened and what do you make of it?

Palazzi: In reality, those who opposed my visit at UCSB were a small group of students, mostly related to the local Muslim Student Association (MSA; i.e., to the student branch of the Wahhabi Muslim Brotherhood). I invited them to be involved in the debate, to explain the reasons why they opposed my visit and/or the contents of my speech.

However, they were not in the least interested in real debate and discussion. They only shouted some slogans and left the hall. Other Muslim students, not related to the MSA, on the contrary appreciated my visit, and together with non-Muslim students went on asking me questions privately even after the public debate was over. Apart from that small group of vociferous opponents, both Muslim and non-Muslim students at UCSB were friendly and interested in thoughtful discussion of issues.

FP: Can you illuminate for us the humane and tolerant side of Islam?

Palazzi: In contrast to Wahhabism, which is a religion of terror, coercion and violence, Sunni Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. A Muslim is called to be a loyal citizen of the country in which he lives, on the condition that the State does not deny his basic religious freedom and does not compel him to accept another religion by force. If the government is in other respects tyrannical, corrupt, oppressive, etc., a Muslim may seek redress through established legal channels, without resort to sedition or violence. If he thinks government oppression is unbearable, he must migrate elsewhere. This is the case regardless of whether or not Muslims are a majority or a minority, or the ruler is a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

Sunni Islam recognized different forms of efforts to support Islam (jihad), and acknowledges a military form of jihad. In the Sunni understanding, military jihad can only be undertaken by an Islamic State. Muslims may not initiate armed conflicts on their own initiative, but only after the head of an Islamic State has formally declared war against another state which oppresses Muslims or denies their religion freedom. Islamic sources foresaw that the Islamic State (Caliphate) would cease to exist, and that Muslims and non-Muslims alike would be ruled for a period of history by secular states alone.

According to Sunni belief, the Caliphate will be restored in messianic times, by Imam al-Mahdi, and not by politicians or military leaders. As long as Imam al-Mahdi is not present, no restoration of the Caliphate is possible, and without a Caliphate military jihad is impossible. The only legitimate jihad in our time is not-military jihad, i.e., competing with non-Muslims in good deeds, such as creating a better world and establishing enduring peace.

Wahhabis simply take words used in Islamic Law and apply them against Islamic Law itself. In Islamic Law, terrorism is a sin, and suicide another sin. Wahhabis call "jihad" acts of suicide terrorism and "martyrs" those who die while committing them. With regard to murder and suicide, the conflicting positions of Sunni Islam and Wahhabism are fundamental and irreconcilable.

FP: Tell us a bit about your upbringing and your own intellectual and spiritual journey? Who were some mentors/figures who influenced you? Has your philosophy and outlook always been the same or has it changed over the years? Tell us about a matter about which you have changed your mind or have had second thoughts over the years.

Palazzi: I was born in Rome into a non-observant Muslim family, having no special interest in religion. At that time, there existed in Italy no Muslim organization and no religious facilities. Apart from some Arabic words and some knowledge of major Islamic holidays, I received no formal religious education. Even so, since my youth I was interested in spirituality and metaphysics, and this led me to study philosophy at the State University of Rome.

During that period, I felt a need to rediscover my Islamic roots. After completing my secular education I moved to Cairo, wherein I studied at al-Azhar Islamic University. In Cairo, I had the opportunity to study under the best teachers. At that time, al-Azhar was not, as it is today, a nest of Wahhabi and neo-Salafi fanatics and extremists, but was still a center of traditional Islamic learning.

While living in Cairo, I also had the opportunity to study Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, under my main teachers, Sheikh Ismail al-Azhari and Sheikh Hussein al-Khalwati. I also benefited from the opportunity to study under the then Mufti of Egypt, the late Sheikh Muhammad al-Mutawali as-Sha’rawi, the one who convinced Sadat to make peace with Israel and who went with him to Jerusalem to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque.

When I came back to Rome, I met other Muslims sharing my attitude, and together we established the organization which today is called the Italian Muslim Assembly. While a teenager, I studied different ideologies and philosophies, and was to a certain extent influenced by them. However, after my stay in Cairo, I considered my basic period of intellectual and spiritual formation completed. My spiritual philosophy has remained more or less the same until today.

FP: What did you think about Pope John Paul II? What do you think of the new Pope?

Palazzi: I think the late Pope John Paul II was a contradictory personality. He made some decisions which were extremely progressive (interfaith meetings, visits to mosques and synagogues, etc.), but his individual theology was nevertheless extremely conservative and from a certain point of view naive. He publicly asked forgiveness for crimes committed by the Church against Jews, but afterwards canonized some very controversial personalities, such as his predecessor Pius IX (one of the most implacable enemies of democracy in the history of humanity), and even pro-Nazi Croatian Cardinal Stepinac.

John Paul II took no steps to censor priests and bishops who scandalously cooperated with mass-murderers such as Saddam Hussein or Yasser Arafat, and refused to take a clear position about bishops involved in covering up the scandal of pedophile priests. He approved the war in Kosovo to free the oppressed population from Milosevic, but had no courage to support the war for the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein. The refusal of John Paul II to "bless" the international Coalition fighting for the liberation of Iraq is something I as a Muslim can hardly forgive, as I cannot forget Catholic organizations marching together with Communists and neo-Nazis "against Bush’s war" and objectively in support of Saddam’s regime.

On themes such as birth control and embryology John Paul II’s mentality was totally obscurantist and medieval. He compared abortion to massacres committed by Nazis and Communists. He promoted dialogue between the Church and non-Catholic religions, but permitted Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) to silence theological debate and dissent within the Catholic Church itself.

From a political point of view, John Paul II supported a direct and constant interference of the Church in the affairs of European States, especially Italy. Many Italians, even practicing Catholic Italians, were disappointed by the idea of a foreign (in this case Polish) pope who interfered with the dialectic of majority rule and minority opposition in our country, and considered it a gross infringement of our national sovereignty.

To conclude, I must say that the pontificate of John Paul II was characterized by light and darkness. Positive elements were counter-balanced by many negative ones.

As for Benedict XVI, taking into consideration the documents he signed when he was President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the "Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition"), he seems to be even more conservative than was John Paul II, and even less inclined to tolerate theological pluralism inside the Catholic Church. In one these documents, the "Dominus Jesus" Declaration, the then Cardinal Ratzinger explained that "interfaith dialogue must be understood as a part of the missionary activity of the Catholic Church." The same document openly says that non-Catholic religions are "seriously defective" from a theological and ethical point of view.

All this is not encouraging at all. We have a Pope, Benedict XVI, who simply rejects the notion of pluralism. He does not see the Catholic Church as an element of society which must co-exist with other elements on a basis of equality and dignity, but sees the Catholic Church as the master which must educate society.

According to the approach of Benedict XVI, religions do not represent different spiritual perspectives, each of which can make its unique contribution to help us partially understand the mystery of God. Benedict thinks the truth about God is already known, and the Pope (i.e., himself) is the only authorized interpreter of that truth. Catholics and non-Catholics alike must simply be educated by the one (i.e., himself) who represents that truth on earth.

Dialogue is not seen as an end in itself, but only as a tool to bring non-Catholic religions more in line with Catholicism. With regard to the attitudes of past Popes such as John XXIII and Paul VI, Benedict XVI seriously risks nullifying the results of the Second Vatican Council and returning Catholic theology to what it was at the time of the Counter Reformation.

Ratzinger, therefore, is a Pope who preaches a totalitarian understanding of religion, and incidentally is also the first Pope to have participated in a Nazi German youth movement. Perhaps this past will not affect relations with Jews, but Benedict recently chose not to mention Israel by name in a public statement of solidarity with nations that recently suffered terrorist attacks. When the Israeli government protested this omission, the reaction of the Press Office of the Holy See was arrogant, condescending, and dismissive, adding insult (a sin of commission) to the original injury (a sin of omission), especially when one considers that the omission was committed by a Bavarian Pope who was both a member of a Nazi German youth movement and a soldier in the Nazi German Wehrmacht.

FP: You are, of course, right about some of these things. I guess I will just say that Pope John Paul II was an incredible human being who provided crucial and meaningful spiritual leadership during a tumultuous time. His job was not to run a popularity contest. I think in some ways he was a very holy man and brought much light to a dark world. He was firm in several areas where it was necessary to be firm. And, of course, he played a tremendous role in the crumbling of an evil empire.

The hype that the media went on about Benedict XVI being in the Nazi German youth movement is also a vicious and dirty cheap shot. Pope XVI was never a Nazi and everyone knows it. All German boys at that time were forced to become members of the Hitler Youth – and so was he. This Pope has made it clear years ago how his faith showed him the evil of Nazism and anti-Semitism.

Palazzi: Although "all German boys at that time were forced to become members of the hitler youth," the young Joseph Ratzinger nevertheless volunteered for a combat unit of the Hitler Youth. This circumstance is confirmed by the Vatican press office. Of course, we are dealing with a teenager living in a period when Nazi indoctrination was systematic, but at least during that period Joseph Ratzinger was a convinced Nazi who chose to join a military unit fighting against the Allies. I do not doubt that his faith showed him the evil of Nazism and anti-Semitism, but this happened after World War Two was over, not before.

FP: Well, Sheikh Palazzi, the evidence suggests that the Pope volunteering for a combat unit is simply untrue and that is why the Pope evaded people who were trying to force him to "volunteer" for a combat unit by declaring his intent to become a priest. There is no trace to the assertion that the Vatican Press Office confirmed the opposite. Ratzinger received a dispensation from the Hitler Youth because of his religious studies and he deserted the German army. He never attended any Hitler Youth meetings and his seminary professor secured the paper "proving" his attendance on his behalf.

And it is this upon this falsehood that you frame your further assertion that Ratzinger was at that time a "convinced Nazi" — which is, with all due respect, simply a historical falsehood and a personal slander. His own word, and those of all who knew him and his family, says otherwise: that he and his whole family were anti-Nazis. There is no trace of Nazism in anything Ratzinger has ever done since the war, and it seems that many people are just trying to smear him and his theological conservatism – quite an unworthy thing to do.

In any case, let’s get back to the terror war. What is the best way for the West to fight it? What do you think of the American liberation of Iraq?

Palazzi: To win a war, one must identify who the enemy is and neutralize the enemy’s chain of command. World War Two was won when the German army was destroyed, Berlin was captured and Hitler removed from power. To win the War on Terror, it is necessary to understand that al-Qa’ida is a Saudi organization, created by the House of Sa’ud, funded with petro-dollar profits by the House of Sa’ud and used by the House of Sa’ud for acts of mass terror primarily against the West, and the rest of the world, as well.

Consequently, to really win the War on Terror it is necessary for the U.S. to invade Saudi Arabia, capture King Abdallah and the other 1,500 princes who constitute the House of Sa’ud, to freeze their assets, to remove them from power, and to send them to Guantanamo for life imprisonment.

Then it is necessary to replace the Saudi-Wahhabi terror-funding regime with a moderate, non-Wahhabi and pro-West regime, such as a Hashemite Sunni Muslim constitutional monarchy.

Unless all this is done, the War on Terror will never be won. It is possible to destroy al-Qa’ida, to capture or execute Bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri, etc., but this will not end the War. After some years, Saudi princes will again start funding many similar terror organizations. The Saudi regime can only survive by increasing its support for terror.

Saddam’s regime was one of the worst criminal dictatorships which existed in this world, and destroying it was surely a praiseworthy task for which, as a Muslim, I am thankful to President Bush, to the governments who joined the Coalition and to soldiers who fought in the field. Destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq were surely praiseworthy tasks, but I regret that focusing on these secondary enemies was — for the White House — a way to obscure the role of the world’s main enemy: the Saudis.

FP: What do you think of President Bush?

Palazzi: I am extremely disappointed with him. I hoped that — after Saudi terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11 — this would necessarily cause a radical revision in U.S.-Saudi relations. The first action a U.S. President had to do after such a criminal attack as 9/11 was to immediately outlaw Saudi-controlled institutions inside the U.S. and acknowledge that viewing Saudis as "friends" was a mortal sin representing sixty years of failed U.S. foreign and economic policy.

U.S. governmental agencies have plenty of evidence about the role of the House of Sa’ud in funding the worldwide terror network. U.S. citizens can even read in newspapers that some days before the 9/11 attack Muhammad Atta received a check from the wife of the former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, but unbelievably this caused no consequences. Let us consider plain facts: the wife of a foreign ambassador pays terrorists for attacks which murder thousands of U.S. citizens, and the U.S. government not only does not declare war on that foreign country, in this case Saudi Arabia, but does not even terminate diplomatic relations with that country.

On the contrary, then-Crown Prince Abdallah, the creator (together with the new Saudi ambassador to the United States, former Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Father of 9/11, Prince Turki al-Feisal) of al-Qa’ida, is immediately invited to Bush’s ranch as a honored guest, and Bush tells him, "You are our ally in the War on Terror"! Can one image FDR inviting Hitler to the United States and telling him, "You are our ally in the war against Fascism in Europe"?

Something very similar happened after 9/11. As a matter of fact, the Saudis supported Bush’s electoral campaign for his first term in office, and asked him in exchange to be the first U.S. President to promote the creation of a Palestinian State. Once he was elected, Bush refused to abide by the agreement, and the consequence was 9/11.

"We paid for your election, and now you must do want we want from you", this was the message behind the 9/11 attack. Bush immediately started doing what the Saudis wanted from him: compelling Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in order to permit the creation of a PLO state. Western media speak of a "Road Map," while Arab media call it by its real name: "Abdallah’s Plan."

One hears about a U.S. President who allegedly leads a "War on Terror" and promotes the spread of "democracy" and "freedom" in the Islamic world, but the reality shows a U.S. president who — after a Saudi terror attack against the U.S. — abides by a Saudi diktat, hides the role of the Saudi regime behind al-Qa’ida and wants Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, cut to pieces to facilitate the creation of another dictatorial regime, lead by Arafat deputy Abu Mazen, the terrorist who organized the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Theoretically, Bush proclaims his intention to punish terror and to spread democracy, but the Road Map is the exact opposite of all this: it means punishing the victims of terror and rewarding terrorists, compelling democracy to withdraw in order to create a new dictatorial Arab regime. For the U.S. there is only one single trustworthy ally in the entire Middle East: Israel.

Now Bush is punishing America’s ally Israel to reward those who heartily supported "our brother Saddam", those who demonstrate by burning Stars and Strips flags and those who call America "the imperialist power controlled by Zionism". In doing so, Bush seriously risks becoming the most anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish President in the history of the U.S.

Let us look at the impending victims of Bush’s foreign policy, at the inhabitants of Gush Katif. What is their crime? What did they do to merit deportation from their homes and the theft of their farms and businesses? They live in peace, work hard and provide jobs for thousands of Gaza Arabs. To please the Saudis, Bush wants a Judenrein Gaza, with the Jews of Gush Katif deported from their homes, their houses destroyed and even the remains of their relatives exhumed and buried elsewhere.

Were one to proclaim "Jews, for the only reason of their being Jews, must be deported from New York and forcibly resettled in New Jersey", the whole world would shout and say this is racist deportation, ethnic cleansing, violation of basic human rights, etc. Now, by supporting the infamous anti-Israeli Saudi Plan, Bush is applying the same identical principle: he accepts the idea that Jews, for the only fault of being Jews, must be deported from their homes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and resettled elsewhere.

Throughout history, Jews were frequently deported from country to country by Romans, Popes, Czars, Nazis, etc. Now, thanks to Bush’s policy, Jews will also be deported from Israel, and deported not by anti-Semitic regimes, but by Jews and others wearing Israeli uniforms. It is the norm for Arab dictators to conceive a political project based on ethnic cleansing and deportation of Jews, but it is simply unbelievable that a U.S. President approves such a project and compels Israel to accept it.

I am shocked to realize that a U.S. President supports ethnic cleansing of Jews from parts of the Land of Israel, and that most American Jewish organizational leaders either keep silent or even approve of this deportation plan. With the few praiseworthy exceptions of the Zionist Organization of America (Morton Klein), Americans for a Safe Israel (Herb Zweibon and Helen Freedman), National Council of Young Israel (Pesach Lerner) and a few other groups, most Jewish organizations in the U.S. collaborate with Bush’s plans against their own brothers and sisters in Israel.

The implications of the Road Map are staggering: A Jew is not like other human beings, he can be deported from place to place, according to the cynical oil drenched dictates of political opportunism. Deporting Jews and cutting Israel into pieces was the original goal of Arab dictators supported by the Soviet Union.

The U.S. has consistently opposed this racist policy and supported Israel against terrorists who wanted to destroy it. Now Bush is granting those same terrorists a victory: what was not accomplished by terror will be accomplished by the Israeli Defence Forces with the support of the United States. Saudis are able to compel a U.S. President to betray U.S. allies and to force the creation of an entity ("Palestine") controlled by terrorists.

President Bush claims to be a Born Again Christian and also claims to read the Bible every day. The Bible says that God gave the Land of Israel as a heritage to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and gave the rest of the world as a heritage to other peoples. As confirmed by the Qur’an and Islamic tradition, Abraham himself bequeathed to his descendants from Isaac the Land of Israel, and bequeathed to his descendants from Ishmael other lands, such as the Arabian peninsula.

Now descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, have a gigantic territory extending from Morocco to Iraq. The descendants of Isaac, the Jews, on the contrary, only have a tiny, narrow strip of land. However, Arab dictators are not satisfied with their huge territory. They want more. They also want the little heritage of the Children of Israel, and resort to terror in order to get it.

U.S. Presidents have always opposed this attempt to steal from the Jewish People what God granted them. Now we have a U.S. President who claims to honor the Bible, and yet wants to give Arab dictators what belongs to the Jewish People. By doing so, Bush is not only rewarding terror, encouraging further terror and showing the world that terror works, but he is also opposing God’s will. I pray that the citizens of the U.S. will be spared the full consequences of this anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-God foreign policy.

FP: There is indeed a tragedy inherent in the Israelis not being defended the way they should be. And the disengagement from Gaza truly comes with many dangerous risks. But there are several very shrewd strategic reasons involved in this move and they are in Israel’s interests. We shouldn’t forget that. Bush and Sharon are making wise and calculated steps in their own context. It is more complicated than simply seeing this as a great malicious betrayal. But we’ll have to debate this another time.

Let us turn to your personal interests for a moment. What are some of your favorite books?

Palazzi: Books I prefer reading are those dealing with spirituality. I am especially interested in the study of similarities between Sufism and Kabbalah, and consequently I consider "al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah" by Ibn ‘Arabi and the "Zohar" as my basic sources. I am also interested in the study of non-monotheistic mysticism, and consequently appreciate the Upanishad, the Vedantasutra and the Purana of the Hindu tradition, the Buddhist Canon and the Greek Philokalia. I am also interested in the history of Middle East. Books such as "Battle Ground" by Shmuel Katz and "The Secret War Against the Jews" by John Loftus are among my favorites.

FP: Do you listen to music? If so, tell us what music you like.

Palazzi: Because of my academic interests in ethnomusicology and ritual dance, I frequently listen to Medieval music, be it Arabic-Andalusi, Maghrebi, Persian, European or Byzantine. Then I am also fond of symphonic music, and my favorite composers are Bruckner, Mahler and Stravinsky. I also like jazz, especially from New Orleans.

FP: Why do you think Islamic extremists demonize music? For instance, the Taliban illegalized all music, Khomeini illegalized many forms of “Western music” etc. What is it about music that they see so threatening? Isn’t music a divine gift? Also, do you think dancing is anti-Islamic?

Palazzi: Khomeini was not so extreme about music as are the Taliban (who follow an Indian version of Saudi Wahhabism known as Deobandism) or the Saudis. Khomeini never demonized music in principle. He rather imposed his personal preferences regarding which music was acceptable and which was not. Khomeini deemed traditional Islamic music and Western classical music to be acceptable, and modern Western popular music to be unacceptable. The Taliban, on the contrary, even banned Sufi music and traditional Islamic chants, and the Saudis go on doing the same until today.

Some Muslim scholars of the past restricted the range of acceptable music to a minimum, but Imam al-Ghazali, a leading authority in the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence to which I belong, preferred to emphasize the positive value of music. A chapter of al-Ghazali’s book in Persian, "The Alchemy of Happiness", is entitled "Concerning Music and Dancing as Aids to the Religious Life".

al-Ghazali writes: "The heart of man has been so constituted by the Almighty that, like a flint, it contains a hidden fire which is evoked by music and harmony, and renders man beside himself with ecstasy. These harmonies are echoes of that higher world of beauty which we call the world of spirits; they remind man of his relationship to that world, and produce in him an emotion so deep and strange that he himself is powerless to explain it. The effect of music and dancing is deeper in proportion as the natures on which they act are simple and prone to motion; they fan into a flame whatever love is already dormant in the heart, whether it be earthly and sensual, or divine and spiritual".

While other scholars tried to classify musical instruments and musical styles as permissible or forbidden on the basis of their personal preferences, Imam al-Ghazali on the contrary classified music according to the effects it produces on the soul: music which promotes illicit and immoral desires must be avoided, while music which echoes spiritual harmony and awakens contemplation should be encouraged. The latter kind of music is surely a divine gift. Till today Sufi musicians play traditional songs and mystical melodies in order to increase love for God and to cause listeners to join in ecstatic dancing.

FP: So do you ever dance to your favorite music?

Palazzi: I not only regularly dance according to the teachings of the Mevlevi school as they were received by the Naqshbandi and Qadiri Sufi Orders, but I also teach my students, with the authorization of my Sheikhs, what in the West is known as the ritual dance of the Whirling Dervishes. In Arabic, this same dance is called Sama’, meaning "listening". The ritualized techniques of Sufi dance are necessary since an ordinary person lacks spontaneity. For those who reach a certain spiritual level, technique itself is not necessary anymore: listening to traditional Mevlevi music, especially to the sound of flute and drum, is enough to lead to spontaneous dance out of love for God.

During the last years, I have led seminars and arranged performances of the ritual dance of the Whirling Dervishes in cultural centers, universities and dancing schools. Students at dancing schools have some technical advantages over participants who never attended such schools, but in many cases the dance students were less spontaneous and more concerned with external appearances. These dance students were educated to perform for the public in performances which must please audiences. In Dergas, Sufi dancing halls, students dance exclusively for the Beloved One, and to be united with Him. That is the basic difference.

FP: Do you think that veiling of women in Islam should me mandatory or voluntary?

Palazzi: Wearing or not wearing a veil should be the choice of a Muslim woman alone. No one has the right to compel her to wear or not wear a veil. As with prayer, fasting and all the other religious practices, veiling has meaning when it is spontaneous and reflects one’s will to please God by choosing to observe a religious precept. Forcing people to observe religious precepts does not result in an increase in faith, but rather an increase in hypocrisy. One does not pray, fast or wear a veil as an expression of freely chosen faith to submit to what one believes to be commanded by God, but only due to human coercion.

Consequently, I strongly condemn those regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, which force women who do not want to wear the veil to do so; and regimes, such as Turkey and France, which prevent women who do want to wear the veil from doing so. My ideal of religious freedom is that, if a woman wants to veil, she must be free to do so, and the State must defend her right to veil; while if a woman does not want to veil, she must be free to do so, and the State must defend her right not to do so.

Voir encore:

What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?
Understanding what the Muslim Brotherhood’s Gaza branch wants by studying its theology, strategy, and history
Jeffrey Goldberg

The Atlantic

AUG 4 2014

In the spring of 2009, Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, surprised some of his readers by claiming that Iran’s remaining Jews were “living, working and worshiping in relative tranquility.”

Cohen wrote: “Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran—its sophistication and culture—than all the inflammatory rhetoric.”

Perhaps.

In this, and other, columns, Cohen appeared to be trying to convince his fellow Jews that they had less to fear from the Iran of Khamenei and (at the time) Ahmadinejad than they thought. To me, the column was a whitewash. It seemed (and seems) reasonable to worry about the intentions of those Iranian leaders who deny or minimize the Holocaust while hoping to annihilate the Jewish state, and who have funded and trained groups—Hezbollah and Hamas—that have as their goal the killing of Jews.

It is a dereliction of responsibility not to try to understand the goals and beliefs of Islamist totalitarian movements.
Cohen’s most acid critics came from within the Persian Jewish exile community. The vast majority of Iran’s Jews fled the country after the Khomeini revolution; many found refuge in Los Angeles. David Wolpe, the rabbi of Sinai Temple there, invited Cohen to speak to his congregants, about half of whom are Persian exiles, shortly after the column appeared. Cohen, to his credit, accepted the invitation. The encounter between Cohen and an audience of several hundred (mainly Jews, but also Bahais, members of a faith persecuted with great intensity by the Iranian regime) was tense but mainly civil (you can watch it here). For me, the most interesting moment came not in a discussion about the dubious health of Iran’s remnant Jewish population, but after Wolpe asked Cohen about the intentions of Iran and its allies toward Jews living outside Iran.

“Right now,” Wolpe said, “Israel is much more powerful than Hezbollah and Hamas. Let’s say tomorrow this was reversed. Let’s say Hamas had the firepower of Israel and Israel had the firepower of Hamas. What do you think would happen to Israel were the balance of power reversed?”

“I don’t know what would happen tomorrow,” Cohen answered. This response brought a measure of derisive laughter from the incredulous audience. “And it doesn’t matter that I don’t know because it’s not going to happen tomorrow or in one or two years.” Wolpe quickly told Cohen that he himself knows exactly what would happen if the power balance between Hamas and Israel were to be reversed. (Later, Wolpe told me that he thought Cohen could not have been so naïve as to misunderstand the nature of Hamas and Hezbollah, but instead was simply caught short by the question.)

At the time, Cohen suggested that he was uninterested in grappling with the nature of Hamas and its goals. “I reject the thinking behind your question,” he said. “It’s not useful to go there.”

“Going there,” however, is necessary, not only to understand why Israelis fear Hamas, but also to understand that the narrative advanced by Hamas apologists concerning the group’s beliefs and goals is false. “Going there” also does not require enormous imagination, or a well-developed predisposition toward paranoia. It is, in my opinion, a dereliction of responsibility on the part of progressives not to try to understand the goals and beliefs of Islamist totalitarian movements.

(This post, you should know, is not a commentary on the particulars of the war between Israel and Hamas, a war in which Hamas baited Israel and Israel took the bait. Each time Israel kills an innocent Palestinian in its attempt to neutralize Hamas’s rockets, it represents a victory for Hamas, which has made plain its goal of getting Israel to kill innocent Gazans. Suffice it to say that Israel cannot afford many more “victories” of the sort it is seeking in Gaza right now. I supported a ceasefire early in this war precisely because I believed that the Israeli government had not thought through its strategic goals, or the methods for achieving those goals.)

While it is true that Hamas is expert at getting innocent Palestinians killed, it has made it very plain, in word and deed, that it would rather kill Jews. The following blood-freezing statement is from the group’s charter: “The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

This is a frank and open call for genocide, embedded in one of the most thoroughly anti-Semitic documents you’ll read this side of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Not many people seem to know that Hamas’s founding document is genocidal. Sometimes, the reasons for this lack of knowledge are benign; other times, as the New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch argues in his recent dismantling of Rashid Khalidi’s apologia for Hamas, this ignorance is a direct byproduct of a decision to mask evidence of Hamas’s innate theocratic fascism.

The historian of totalitarianism Jeffrey Herf, in an article on the American Interest website, places the Hamas charter in context:

[T]he Hamas Covenant of 1988 notably replaced the Marxist-Leninist conspiracy theory of world politics with the classic anti-Semitic tropes of Nazism and European fascism, which the Islamists had absorbed when they collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. That influence is apparent in Article 22, which asserts that “supportive forces behind the enemy” have amassed great wealth: "With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. With their money, they took control of the world media. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about here and there. With their money, they formed secret societies, such as Freemason, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there."

The above paragraph of Article 22 could have been taken, almost word for word, from Nazi Germany’s anti-Jewish propaganda texts and broadcasts.
The question Roger Cohen refused to answer at Sinai Temple was addressed in a recent post by Sam Harris, the atheist intellectual, who is opposed, as a matter of ideology, to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state (or to any country organized around a religion), but who for practical reasons supports its continued existence as a haven for an especially persecuted people, and also as a not-particularly religious redoubt in a region of the world deeply affected by religious fundamentalism. Referring not only to the Hamas charter, Harris writes that, “The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking.”

Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that it should have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews.

And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. …

What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas.
The first time I witnessed Hamas’s hatred of Jews manifest itself in large-scale, fatal violence was in late July of 1997, when two of the group’s suicide bombers detonated themselves in an open-air market in West Jerusalem. The attack took 16 lives, and injured 178. I happened to be only a few blocks from the market at the time of the attack, and arrived shortly after the paramedics and firefighters. Over the next hours, a scene unfolded that I would see again and again: screaming relatives; members of the Orthodox burial society scraping flesh off walls; the ground covered in blood and viscera. I remember another Hamas attack, on a bus in downtown Jerusalem, in which body parts of children were blown into the street by the force of the blast. At yet another bombing, I was with rescue workers as they recovered a human arm stuck high up in a tree.

After each of these attacks, Hamas leaders issued blood-curdling statements claiming credit, and promising more death. “The Jews will lose because they crave life but a true Muslim loves death,” a former Hamas leader, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, told me in an interview in 2002. In the same interview he made the following imperishable statement: “People always talk about what the Germans did to the Jews, but the true question is, ‘What did the Jews do to the Germans?’”

I will always remember this interview not only because Rantisi’s Judeophobia was breathtaking, but because just as I was leaving his apartment in Gaza City, a friend from Jerusalem called to tell me that she had just heard a massive explosion outside her office at the Hebrew University (not far, by the way, of an attack earlier today). A cafeteria had just been bombed, my friend told me. This was another Hamas operation, one which killed nine people, including a young woman of exceptional promise named Marla Bennett, a 24-year-old American student who wrote shortly before her death, “My friends and family in San Diego ask me to come home, it is dangerous here. I appreciate their concern. But there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now. I have a front-row seat for the history of the Jewish people.”

Hamas is an organization devoted to ending Jewish history. This is what so many Jews understand, and what so many non-Jews don’t. The novelist Amos Oz, who has led Israel’s left-wing peace camp for decades, said in an interview last week that he doesn’t see a prospect for compromise between Israel and Hamas. "I have been a man of compromise all my life," Oz said. "But even a man of compromise cannot approach Hamas and say: ‘Maybe we meet halfway and Israel only exists on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.'"

In the years since it adopted its charter, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have reinforced its message again and again. Mahmoud Zahar said in 2006 that the group "will not change a single word in its covenant." To underscore the point, in 2010 Zahhar said, "Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy."

In 2011, the former Hamas minister of culture, Atallah Abu al-Subh, said that "the Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world." Just last week, a top Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, accused Jews of using Christian blood to make matzo. This is not a group, in other words, that is seeking the sort of peace that Amos Oz—or, for that matter, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas—is seeking. People wonder why Israelis have such a visceral reaction to Hamas. The answer is easy. Israel is a small country, and most of its citizens know someone who was murdered by Hamas in its extended suicide-bombing campaigns; and most people also understand that if Hamas had its way, it would kill them as well.

Voir par ailleurs:

In Defense of Zionism
The often reviled ideology that gave rise to Israel has been an astonishing historical success.
Michael B. Oren
WSJ
Aug. 1, 2014

They come from every corner of the country—investment bankers, farmers, computer geeks, jazz drummers, botany professors, car mechanics—leaving their jobs and their families. They put on uniforms that are invariably too tight or too baggy, sign out their gear and guns. Then, scrambling onto military vehicles, 70,000 reservists—women and men—join the young conscripts of what is proportionally the world’s largest citizen army. They all know that some of them will return maimed or not at all. And yet, without hesitation or (for the most part) complaint, proudly responding to the call-up, Israelis stand ready to defend their nation. They risk their lives for an idea.

The idea is Zionism. It is the belief that the Jewish people should have their own sovereign state in the Land of Israel. Though founded less than 150 years ago, the Zionist movement sprung from a 4,000-year-long bond between the Jewish people and its historic homeland, an attachment sustained throughout 20 centuries of exile. This is why Zionism achieved its goals and remains relevant and rigorous today. It is why citizens of Israel—the state that Zionism created—willingly take up arms. They believe their idea is worth fighting for.

Yet Zionism, arguably more than any other contemporary ideology, is demonized. "All Zionists are legitimate targets everywhere in the world!" declared a banner recently paraded by anti-Israel protesters in Denmark. "Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances," warned a sign in the window of a Belgian cafe. A Jewish demonstrator in Iceland was accosted and told, "You Zionist pig, I’m going to behead you."

In certain academic and media circles, Zionism is synonymous with colonialism and imperialism. Critics on the radical right and left have likened it to racism or, worse, Nazism. And that is in the West. In the Middle East, Zionism is the ultimate abomination—the product of a Holocaust that many in the region deny ever happened while maintaining nevertheless that the Zionists deserved it.

What is it about Zionism that elicits such loathing? After all, the longing of a dispersed people for a state of their own cannot possibly be so repugnant, especially after that people endured centuries of massacres and expulsions, culminating in history’s largest mass murder. Perhaps revulsion toward Zionism stems from its unusual blend of national identity, religion and loyalty to a land. Japan offers the closest parallel, but despite its rapacious past, Japanese nationalism doesn’t evoke the abhorrence aroused by Zionism.

Clearly anti-Semitism, of both the European and Muslim varieties, plays a role. Cabals, money grubbing, plots to take over the world and murder babies—all the libels historically leveled at Jews are regularly hurled at Zionists. And like the anti-Semitic capitalists who saw all Jews as communists and the communists who painted capitalism as inherently Jewish, the opponents of Zionism portray it as the abominable Other.

But not all of Zionism’s critics are bigoted, and not a few of them are Jewish. For a growing number of progressive Jews, Zionism is too militantly nationalist, while for many ultra-Orthodox Jews, the movement is insufficiently pious—even heretical. How can an idea so universally reviled retain its legitimacy, much less lay claim to success?

The answer is simple: Zionism worked. The chances were infinitesimal that a scattered national group could be assembled from some 70 countries into a sliver-sized territory shorn of resources and rich in adversaries and somehow survive, much less prosper. The odds that those immigrants would forge a national identity capable of producing a vibrant literature, pace-setting arts and six of the world’s leading universities approximated zero.

Elsewhere in the world, indigenous languages are dying out, forests are being decimated, and the populations of industrialized nations are plummeting. Yet Zionism revived the Hebrew language, which is now more widely spoken than Danish and Finnish and will soon surpass Swedish. Zionist organizations planted hundreds of forests, enabling the land of Israel to enter the 21st century with more trees than it had at the end of the 19th. And the family values that Zionism fostered have produced the fastest natural growth rate in the modernized world and history’s largest Jewish community. The average secular couple in Israel has at least three children, each a reaffirmation of confidence in Zionism’s future.

Indeed, by just about any international criteria, Israel is not only successful but flourishing. The population is annually rated among the happiest, healthiest and most educated in the world. Life expectancy in Israel, reflecting its superb universal health-care system, significantly exceeds America’s and that of most European countries. Unemployment is low, the economy robust. A global leader in innovation, Israel is home to R&D centers of some 300 high-tech companies, including Apple, Intel and Motorola. The beaches are teeming, the rock music is awesome, and the food is off the Zagat charts.

The democratic ideals integral to Zionist thought have withstood pressures that have precipitated coups and revolutions in numerous other nations. Today, Israel is one of the few states—along with Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S.—that has never known a second of nondemocratic governance.

These accomplishments would be sufficiently astonishing if attained in North America or Northern Europe. But Zionism has prospered in the supremely inhospitable—indeed, lethal—environment of the Middle East. Two hours’ drive east of the bustling nightclubs of Tel Aviv—less than the distance between New York and Philadelphia—is Jordan, home to more than a half million refugees from Syria’s civil war. Traveling north from Tel Aviv for four hours would bring that driver to war-ravaged Damascus or, heading east, to the carnage in western Iraq. Turning south, in the time it takes to reach San Francisco from Los Angeles, the traveler would find himself in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

In a region reeling with ethnic strife and religious bloodshed, Zionism has engendered a multiethnic, multiracial and religiously diverse society. Arabs serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in the Knesset and on the Supreme Court. While Christian communities of the Middle East are steadily eradicated, Israel’s continues to grow. Israeli Arab Christians are, in fact, on average better educated and more affluent than Israeli Jews.

In view of these monumental achievements, one might think that Zionism would be admired rather than deplored. But Zionism stands accused of thwarting the national aspirations of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants, of oppressing and dispossessing them.

Never mind that the Jews were natives of the land—its Arabic place names reveal Hebrew palimpsests—millennia before the Palestinians or the rise of Palestinian nationalism. Never mind that in 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received offers to divide the land and rejected them, usually with violence. And never mind that the majority of Zionism’s adherents today still stand ready to share their patrimony in return for recognition of Jewish statehood and peace.

The response to date has been, at best, a refusal to remain at the negotiating table or, at worst, war. But Israelis refuse to relinquish the hope of resuming negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. To live in peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors remains the Zionist dream.

Still, for all of its triumphs, its resilience and openness to peace, Zionism fell short of some of its original goals. The agrarian, egalitarian society created by Zionist pioneers has been replaced by a dynamic, largely capitalist economy with yawning gaps between rich and poor. Mostly secular at its inception, Zionism has also spawned a rapidly expanding religious sector, some elements of which eschew the Jewish state.

About a fifth of Israel’s population is non-Jewish, and though some communities (such as the Druse) are intensely patriotic and often serve in the army, others are much less so, and some even call for Israel’s dissolution. And there is the issue of Judea and Samaria—what most of the world calls the West Bank—an area twice used to launch wars of national destruction against Israel but which, since its capture in 1967, has proved painfully divisive.

Many Zionists insist that these territories represent the cradle of Jewish civilization and must, by right, be settled. But others warn that continued rule over the West Bank’s Palestinian population erodes Israel’s moral foundation and will eventually force it to choose between being Jewish and remaining democratic.

Yet the most searing of Zionism’s unfulfilled visions was that of a state in which Jews could be free from the fear of annihilation. The army imagined by Theodor Herzl, Zionism’s founding father, marched in parades and saluted flag-waving crowds. The Israel Defense Forces, by contrast, with no time for marching, much less saluting, has remained in active combat mode since its founding in 1948. With the exception of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the ideological forbear of today’s Likud Party, none of Zionism’s early thinkers anticipated circumstances in which Jews would be permanently at arms. Few envisaged a state that would face multiple existential threats on a daily basis just because it is Jewish.

Confronted with such monumental threats, Israelis might be expected to flee abroad and prospective immigrants discouraged. But Israel has one of the lower emigration rates among developed countries while Jews continue to make aliyah—literally, in Hebrew, "to ascend"—to Israel. Surveys show that Israelis remain stubbornly optimistic about their country’s future. And Jews keep on arriving, especially from Europe, where their security is swiftly eroding. Last week, thousands of Parisians went on an anti-Semitic rant, looting Jewish shops and attempting to ransack synagogues.

American Jews face no comparable threat, and yet numbers of them continue to make aliyah. They come not in search of refuge but to take up the Zionist challenge—to be, as the Israeli national anthem pledges, "a free people in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem." American Jews have held every high office, from prime minister to Supreme Court chief justice to head of Israel’s equivalent of the Fed, and are disproportionately prominent in Israel’s civil society.

Hundreds of young Americans serve as "Lone Soldiers," without families in the country, and volunteer for front-line combat units. One of them, Max Steinberg from Los Angeles, fell in the first days of the current Gaza fighting. His funeral, on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, was attended by 30,000 people, most of them strangers, who came out of respect for this intrepid and selfless Zionist.

I also paid my respects to Max, whose Zionist journey was much like mine. After working on a kibbutz—a communal farm—I made aliyah and trained as a paratrooper. I participated in several wars, and my children have served as well, sometimes in battle. Our family has taken shelter from Iraqi Scuds and Hamas M-75s, and a suicide bomber killed one of our closest relatives.

Despite these trials, my Zionist life has been immensely fulfilling. And the reason wasn’t Zionism’s successes—not the Nobel Prizes gleaned by Israeli scholars, not the Israeli cures for chronic diseases or the breakthroughs in alternative energy. The reason—paradoxically, perhaps—was Zionism’s failures.

Failure is the price of sovereignty. Statehood means making hard and often agonizing choices—whether to attack Hamas in Palestinian neighborhoods, for example, or to suffer rocket strikes on our own territory. It requires reconciling our desire to be enlightened with our longing to remain alive. Most onerously, sovereignty involves assuming responsibility. Zionism, in my definition, means Jewish responsibility. It means taking responsibility for our infrastructure, our defense, our society and the soul of our state. It is easy to claim responsibility for victories; setbacks are far harder to embrace.

But that is precisely the lure of Zionism. Growing up in America, I felt grateful to be born in a time when Jews could assume sovereign responsibilities. Statehood is messy, but I regarded that mess as a blessing denied to my forefathers for 2,000 years. I still feel privileged today, even as Israel grapples with circumstances that are at once perilous, painful and unjust. Fighting terrorists who shoot at us from behind their own children, our children in uniform continue to be killed and wounded while much of the world brands them as war criminals.

Zionism, nevertheless, will prevail. Deriving its energy from a people that refuses to disappear and its ethos from historically tested ideas, the Zionist project will thrive. We will be vilified, we will find ourselves increasingly alone, but we will defend the homes that Zionism inspired us to build.

The Israeli media have just reported the call-up of an additional 16,000 reservists. Even as I write, they too are mobilizing for active duty—aware of the dangers, grateful for the honor and ready to bear responsibility.

Mr. Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013. He holds the chair in international diplomacy at IDC Herzliya in Israel and is a fellow at the Atlantic Council. His books include "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" and "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present."

Pour la défense du sionisme
L’idéologie souvent honnie qui a donné naissance à Israël est un succès historique étonnant.
Michael B. Oren

Wall Street Journal

Traduction française JSSNews

Ils sont venus de tous les coins du pays – banquiers, agriculteurs, informaticiens, batteurs de jazz, professeurs de botanique, mécaniciens – ils ont quitté leurs emplois et de leurs familles. Ils ont endossé leurs uniformes, toujours trop serrés ou trop amples, ont signé pour leur équipement et leur fusil. Ensuite, entassés dans des véhicules militaires, 70 000 réservistes – femmes et hommes – ont rejoint les jeunes conscrits de la plus grande armée de citoyens du monde. Ils savent tous que certains d’entre eux reviendront estropiés ou ne reviendront pas du tout. Et pourtant, sans hésitation ni plainte, répondant fièrement à l’appel, les Israéliens se dressent, prêts à défendre leur nation. A risquer leur vie pour un idéal.

Cet idéal est le sionisme. C’est la conviction que le peuple juif est en droit d’avoir son propre État souverain sur la terre d’Israël. Bien que fondé il y a moins de 150 ans, le mouvement sioniste est né de 4 000 longues années de lien entre le peuple juif et sa patrie historique, un attachement qui a perduré pendant 20 siècles d’exil. C’est pourquoi le sionisme a atteint ses objectifs et qu’il demeure plus que jamais actuel et fort. C’est pourquoi les citoyens d’Israël – l’Etat créé par le sionisme – prennent volontiers les armes. Car ils sont convaincus que leur idéal vaut la peine de se battre.

Pourtant, le sionisme, sans doute plus que toute autre idéologie contemporaine, est diabolisé. « Tous les sionistes sont des cibles légitimes partout dans le monde! » énonce une bannière récemment brandie par des manifestants anti-Israël au Danemark. « Les chiens sont admis dans cet établissement, mais pas les sionistes, en aucune circonstance », prévient une pancarte à la fenêtre d’un café belge. On a dit à un manifestant juif en Islande : « Toi porc sioniste, je vais te couper la tête. »

Dans certains milieux universitaires et médiatiques, le sionisme est synonyme de colonialisme et d’impérialisme. Les critiques d’extrême droite et gauche le comparent au racisme ou, pire, au nazisme. Et cela en Occident. Au Moyen-Orient, le sionisme est l’abomination ultime – le produit d’un Holocauste que beaucoup dans la région nient avoir jamais existé, ce qui ne les empêche pas de maintenir que les sionistes l’ont bien mérité.

Qu’est-ce qui, dans ​​le sionisme, suscite un tel dégoût ? Après tout, le désir d’un peuple dispersé d’avoir son propre Etat ne peut être si révulsif, surtout sachant que ce même peuple a enduré des siècles de massacres et d’expulsions, qui ont atteint leur paroxysme dans le plus grand assassinat de masse de l’histoire. Peut-être la révulsion envers le sionisme découle-t-elle de sa mixture inhabituelle d’identité nationale, de religion et de fidélité à une terre. Le Japon s’en rapproche le plus, mais malgré son passé rapace, le nationalisme japonais ne suscite pas la révulsion provoquée par le sionisme.

Il est clair que l’antisémitisme, dans ses versions européenne et musulmane, joue un rôle. Fauteurs de cabales, faucheurs d’argent, conquérants du monde et assassins de bébés – toutes ces diffamations autrefois jetées à la tête des Juifs le sont aujourd’hui à celle des sionistes. Et à l’image des capitalistes antisémites qui voyaient tous les Juifs comme des communistes et des communistes pour qui le capitalisme était intrinsèquement juif, les adversaires du sionisme le décrivent comme l’Autre abominable.

Mais tous ces détracteurs sont des fanatiques, et certains parmi eux sont des Juifs. Pour un nombre croissant de Juifs progressistes, le sionisme est un nationalisme militant, tandis que pour de nombreux Juifs ultra-orthodoxes, ce mouvement n’est pas suffisamment pieux – voire même hérétique. Comment un idéal si universellement vilipendé peut-il conserver sa légitimité, ou même prétendre être un succès ?

La réponse est simple : le sionisme a fonctionné. Les chances étaient infimes qu’un groupe dispersé à travers le monde puisse rassembler des membres de quelque 70 pays dans un territoire de la taille d’un ruban, dénué de ressources et riche en adversaires, survivre, et même prospérer. Les chances que ces immigrants se forgent une identité nationale, soient capables de produire une littérature palpitante, des arts de référence et six des plus grandes universités mondiales, étaient proches de zéro.

Ailleurs dans le monde, les langues autochtones sont en voie de disparition, les forêts sont décimées, et les populations des pays industrialisés vieillissent. Pourtant, le sionisme a fait revivre la langue hébraïque, qui est aujourd’hui plus largement parlée que le danois et le finnois et dépassera bientôt le suédois. Les organisations sionistes ont planté des centaines de forêts, faisant entrer la terre d’Israël dans le 21ème siècle avec plus d’arbres qu’à la fin du 19ème. Et les valeurs familiales que le sionisme défend produisent le taux d’accroissement naturel le plus rapide du monde moderne et la plus grande communauté juive de l’histoire. Le couple laïc moyen en Israël a au moins trois enfants, chacun étant une preuve vivante que le sionisme est confiant en l’avenir.

En effet, dans presque tous les critères internationaux, Israël n’est pas seulement victorieux, mais florissant. Sa population est chaque année classée parmi les plus heureuses, les plus saines et les plus éduquées du monde. L’espérance de vie en Israël, qui reflète son excellent système de santé universel, dépasse largement celle des Etats-Unis et de la plupart des pays européens. Le chômage est faible, l’économie robuste. Chef de file mondial en matière d’innovation, Israël est le foyer de centres R & D de 300 entreprises de haute technologie, y compris Apple, Intel et Motorola. Les plages sont prises d’assaut, la musique rock géniale et la nourriture exquise.

Les idéaux démocratiques inhérents à la pensée sioniste ont résisté aux pressions qui ont déclenché coups d’Etat et révolutions dans de nombreux autres pays. Aujourd’hui, Israël est l’un des rares Etats – avec la Grande-Bretagne, le Canada, la Nouvelle-Zélande et les Etats-Unis – n’ayant pas connu une seconde de gouvernance non démocratique.

Ces réalisations seraient suffisamment étonnantes si elles avaient eu lieu en Amérique du Nord ou en Europe du Nord. Mais le sionisme a prospéré dans l’environnement extrêmement inhospitalier –même meurtrier – du Moyen-Orient. A deux heures de route à l’est des boîtes de nuit animées de Tel Aviv – à une distance inférieure de celle entre New York et Philadelphie – se trouve la Jordanie, qui a accueilli plus d’un demi-million de réfugiés de la guerre civile syrienne. A quatre heures de route depuis le nord de Tel-Aviv, vous êtes à Damas, ravagé par la guerre, et vers l’est, dans le carnage de l’ouest de l’Irak. Vers le sud, dans la distance de San Francisco à Los Angeles, vous vous trouvez à la place Tahrir du Caire.

Dans une région envahie de conflits ethniques et de massacres religieux, le sionisme a engendré une société multiethnique, multiraciale et pluriconfessionnelle. Les Arabes servent dans les Forces de défense israéliennes, à la Knesset et à la Cour suprême. Alors que les communautés chrétiennes du Moyen-Orient sont régulièrement éradiquées, celles d’Israël continuent de croître. Les Arabes chrétiens sont, en fait, en moyenne plus instruits et plus riches que les Juifs israéliens.

Compte tenu de ces réalisations monumentales, on pourrait penser que le sionisme serait admiré plutôt que critiqué. Mais le sionisme accusés d’obstruer les aspirations nationales des habitants autochtones de la Palestine, de les opprimer et de les déposséder.

Peu importe que les Juifs peuplaient cette terre – ses noms de lieux arabes révèlent des origines hébraïques – des millénaires avant les Palestiniens ou la montée du nationalisme palestinien. Peu importe que, en 1937, 1947, 2000 et 2008, les Palestiniens aient reçu des propositions de diviser la terre et les ont rejetées, généralement avec violence. Et peu importe que la majorité des partisans du sionisme soient aujourd’hui encore prêts à partager leur patrimoine en contrepartie de la reconnaissance d’un Etat juif et de la paix.

La réponse à ce jour a été, au mieux, un refus de rester à la table de négociation ou, au pire, la guerre. Mais les Israéliens refusent de renoncer à l’espoir d’une reprise des négociations avec le président de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas. Vivre en paix et en sécurité avec nos voisins palestiniens reste le rêve sioniste.

Pourtant, malgré ses triomphes, sa capacité de résistance et son ouverture à la paix, le sionisme n’a pas réalisé certains de ses objectifs initiaux. La société égalitaire agraire créée par les pionniers sionistes a été remplacée par une économie dynamique, en grande partie capitaliste, creusant le fossé entre les riches et les pauvres. Partiellement laïc à ses débuts, le sionisme a également donné naissance à un secteur religieux en pleine expansion, dont certains éléments rejettent l’Etat juif.

Environ un cinquième de la population d’Israël est non-juive, et même si certaines communautés (comme les Druzes) sont intensément patriotiques et servent souvent dans l’armée, d’autres le sont beaucoup moins, et certaines appellent même à la dissolution d’Israël. Et il y a la question de la Judée-Samarie – généralement appelée la Cisjordanie – autrefois lieu de déclenchement de guerres de destruction nationale contre Israël, mais qui, depuis son annexion en 1967, divise le peuple.

Nombre de sionistes maintiennent que ces territoires représentent le berceau de la civilisation juive et doivent, de droit, être peuplés. Mais d’autres avertissent que ce contrôle de la population palestinienne de Cisjordanie érode le fondement moral d’Israël et finira par forcer à faire un choix entre être juif et rester démocratique.

Pourtant, la vision du sionisme qui ne s’est douloureusement pas réalisée est celle que les Juifs puissent être libérés de la peur d’être anéantis. L’armée imaginée par Théodore Herzl, fondateur du sionisme, devait parader dans les défilés et saluer la foule agitant des drapeaux. Les Forces de défense israéliennes, en revanche, n’ont pas le temps de défiler, encore moins de saluer, consacrées depuis leur fondation en 1948 à défendre leur pays sans relâche. A l’exception de Vladimir Jabotinsky, le père du Likoud, aucun des pionniers du sionisme n’avait prévu que les nouveaux Juifs devraient toujours être prêts à prendre les armes. Ils n’avaient pas envisagé que cet Etat serait constamment en butte à de multiples menaces existentielles, pour la simple raison qu’il est juif.

Face à de telles menaces monumentales, on devait voir les Israéliens fuir à l’étranger et les immigrants potentiels baisser les bras. Israël connaît un des taux d’émigration les plus faibles parmi les pays développés et les Juifs continuent à faire leur aliya, littéralement, en hébreu, « monter » à Israël. Les enquêtes montrent que les Israéliens restent obstinément optimistes quant à l’avenir de leur pays. Et les Juifs continuent d’affluer, en particulier d’Europe, où leur sécurité s’est rapidement détériorée. La semaine dernière, des milliers de Parisiens ont manifesté aux sons d’une diatribe antisémite, pillé des magasins juifs et tenté de saccager des synagogues.

Les Juifs américains ne connaissent pas de menace comparable, et pourtant nombre d’entre eux continuent à faire leur aliya. Ils ne viennent pas à la recherche d’un refuge, mais pour relever le défi sioniste, évoqué dans l’hymne national israélien, « être un peuple libre sur notre terre, la terre de Sion et de Jérusalem. »

Des centaines de jeunes Américains sont des « soldats seuls », sans aucune famille dans le pays, et se portent volontaires aux premières lignes des unités combattantes. L’un d’eux, Max Steinberg de Los Angeles, est tombé aux premiers jours des combats à Gaza. Ses funérailles, au Mont Herzl à Jérusalem, ont réuni 30 000 personnes, la plupart d’entre eux des étrangers, venus par respect pour ce sioniste intrépide et altruiste.

J’ai aussi rendu hommage à Max, dont l’épopée sioniste ressemble beaucoup à la mienne. Après avoir travaillé dans un kibboutz, j’ai fait mon aliya, et suivi une formation de parachutiste. J’ai participé à plusieurs guerres, et mes enfants ont servi dans les rangs de l’armée, et parfois combattu. Notre famille s’est abritée des Scuds irakiens et des M-75 du Hamas, et un terroriste suicide a assassiné l’un de nos proches parents.

Malgré ces épreuves, ma vie sioniste est extrêmement enrichissante. Et non grâce aux succès de cette idéologie – les prix Nobel remportés par des chercheurs israéliens, les remèdes israéliens aux maladies chroniques ou les percées dans les énergies alternatives. Mais, paradoxalement, grâce à ses échecs.

L’échec est le prix de la souveraineté. Gouverner signifie faire des choix difficiles et souvent angoissants – attaquer le Hamas dans les zones peuplées, par exemple, ou de subir des tirs de roquettes sur notre propre territoire. Il faut concilier entre notre désir d’être éclairé et celui de rester en vie. Souvent en payant le prix, la souveraineté implique d’assumer ses responsabilités. Le sionisme, pour moi, est une responsabilité juive. Il signifie endosser la responsabilité de notre infrastructure, de notre défense, de notre société et de l’âme de notre Etat​​. Il est facile de s’attribuer les victoires ; beaucoup plus difficile d’assumer les échecs.

Mais c’est précisément l’attrait du sionisme. En grandissant en Amérique, j’étais reconnaissant d’être né à une époque où les Juifs peuvent assumer des responsabilités souveraines. Gouverner est chaotique, mais ce chaos est une bénédiction refusée à mes ancêtres depuis 2 000 ans. Et je ressens toujours ce privilège aujourd’hui, même si Israël est face à une situation à la fois périlleuse, douloureuse et injuste. Même s’il lutte contre des terroristes qui tirent en se cachant derrière leurs propres enfants, même si nos enfants en uniformes sont tués et blessés, tandis que le monde les traite de criminels de guerre.

Le sionisme, néanmoins, vaincra. Tirant son énergie d’un peuple qui refuse de disparaître et sa philosophie d’idéaux qui ont fait leurs preuves historiquement, le projet sioniste prospérera. Nous serons honnis, nous nous retrouverons de plus en plus seuls, mais nous défendrons les maisons que ce sionisme nous a poussés à construire.

Par M. Oren – Wall Street Journal – Traduction JSSNews

M. Oren était l’ambassadeur d’Israël aux États-Unis de 2009 à 2013. Il est titulaire de la chaire de diplomatie internationale au IDC Herzliya en Israël et est membre du Conseil de l’Atlantique. Parmi ses livres, “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, et “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.”

Voir enfin:

Les images manquantes de la guerre contre le Hamas

En coopérant à la censure médiatique du Hamas sur ses combattants, la presse internationale ne relate qu’une partie de l’histoire

Uriel Heilman

Times of Israel

1 août 2014

On ne manque pas d’images du conflit de Gaza.

Nous avons vu les décombres, les enfants palestiniens morts, les Israéliens courir aux abris pendant les attaques de roquettes, les manœuvres israéliennes et les images fournies par l’armée israélienne des militants du Hamas sortant de tunnels pour attaquer les soldats israéliens.

Nous n’avons pratiquement pas vu aucune image d’hommes armés du Hamas à Gaza.

Nous savons qu’ils sont là : il y a bien quelqu’un qui doit se charger de lancer les roquettes sur Israël (plus de 2 800) et de les tirer sur les troupes israéliennes dans Gaza. Pourtant, jusqu’à maintenant, les seules images que nous avons vues (ou dont nous avons même entendu parler) sont les vidéos fournies par l’armée israélienne de terroristes du Hamas utilisant les hôpitaux, les ambulances, les mosquées, les écoles (et les tunnels) pour lancer des attaques contre des cibles israéliennes ou transporter des armes autour de Gaza.

Pourquoi n’avons nous pas vu des photographies prises par des journalistes d’hommes du Hamas dans Gaza ?

Nous savons que le Hamas ne veut pas que le monde voit les hommes armés palestiniens en train de lancer de roquettes ou utilisant des lieux peuplés de civils comme des bases d’opération. Mais si l’on peut voir des images des deux côtés pratiquement dans toutes les guerres, en Syrie, en Ukraine, en Irak, pourquoi Gaza fait-elle figure d’exception ?

Si des journalistes sont menacés et intimidés lorsqu’ils essaient de documenter les activités du Hamas dans Gaza, leurs agences de presse devraient le dire publiquement. Elles ne le font pas.

Mardi, le New York Times a publié un article du photographe Sergeï Ponomarev sur ses journées à Gaza. Voici ce que Ponomarev écrit :

C’était une guerre de routine. On part tôt le matin pour voir des maisons détruites la veille. Ensuite on va aux funérailles, ensuite aux hôpitaux parce que plus de personnes blessées arrivent et dans la soirée on retourne voir plus de maisons détruites.

C’était la même chose chaque jour, en passant simplement de Rafah à Khan Younis.

Y-a-t-il des tentatives de documenter les activités du Hamas ?

Si, comme moi, vous vous demandez si le New York Times a envoyé un autre photographe pour couvrir cet aspect de l’histoire : le New York Times n’a pas publié de photos de combattants du Hamas à Gaza, point final. En regardant les trois dernières séries de reportages photographiques du journal sur le conflit, sur un total de 37 images, il n’y en a pas une seule sur un combattant du Hamas.

Dans la série de reportage photo du L.A Times, sur plus de 75 photographies du conflit, il n’y a pas non plus une seule image de combattants du Hamas, selon le Comité américain pour la Précision du reportage au Moyen Orient.

Pour de nombreux spectateurs, le récit de cette guerre doit apparaître très clair : le puissant Israël bombarde des Palestiniens sans défense. C’est compréhensible lorsque l’on ne voit presque aucune photographie des agresseurs palestiniens.

Dans un article du Washington Post de William Booth datant du 15 juillet, l’utilisation du Hamas de l’hôpital Al-Shifa dans la ville de Gaza comme une base opératoire est mentionnée, mais on consacre seulement une demi-phrase dans le huitième paragraphe de l’article.

Le ministre a été refoulé avant qu’il ne puisse atteindre l’hôpital qui est devenu de facto un quartier général pour les dirigeants du Hamas, comme on peut le voir dans les couloirs et les bureaux.

Comme l’a noté Tablet, c’est ce que l’on appelle noyer le poisson.

Dans la même logique, une agence de presse palestinienne a annoncé cette semaine que le Hamas a exécuté des dizaines de Palestiniens suspectés d’avoir collaboré avec Israël la semaine dernière. Le JTA a repris cette information, mais elle n’a pas été mentionnée par les grandes agences de presse.

Soit les journalistes et les rédacteurs de chef ne sont pas intéressés à raconter cette partie de l’histoire qui montre ce que le Hamas fait dans Gaza soit ils n’en sont pas capables. Arrêtons-nous sur cette dernière possibilité.

On a beaucoup parlé du côté des soutiens d’Israël d’une décision de Nick Casy du Wall Street Journal d’effacer un tweet au sujet du mode d’utilisation du Hamas de l’hôpital Shifa comme une base d’opérations. On peut supposer que Casy a effacé le tweet à cause des menaces du Hamas soit sur sa personne ou sur sa capacité à continuer à couvrir le conflit.

Un article du Times of Israel suggérait déjà cela plus tôt dans la
semaine :

Plusieurs journalistes occidentaux travaillant actuellement à Gaza ont été harcelés et menacés par le Hamas pour avoir documenté des cas de l’implication par le groupe terroriste de civils dans sa guerre contre Israël, ont déclaré des officiels israéliens en exprimant leur indignation que certains média internationaux se laissent apparemment intimider sans même évoquer ce type d’incidents.

Le Times of Israel a confirmé plusieurs incidents au cours desquels des journalistes ont été interrogés et menacés. Cela incluait des cas où des photographes qui avaient pris des photos de terroristes du Hamas dans des circonstances compromettantes, des hommes armés préparant des tirs de roquettes dans des structures civiles, et/ou des combattants en habits civils, et qui avaient été approchés par des hommes du Hamas, menacés physiquement et on leur avait pris leurs équipements. Un autre cas impliquant un journaliste français avait tout d’abord été annoncé par le journaliste impliqué, mais le récit avait ensuite été retiré d’Internet.

Après avoir quitté Gaza, la journaliste indépendante Gabriele Barbati, dans une série de tweets condamnant le Hamas pour un incident récent avec des victimes civiles, avait soutenu les déclarations que le Hamas menaçait des journalistes :

Sorti de #Gaza loin des représailles du #Hamas : tir de roquette manqué a tué des enfants hier à Shati. Témoin : des militants se sont précipités pour enlever les débris (29 juillet).

Pourquoi peut-on seulement lire des articles sur l’intimidation dans des médias juifs ou israéliens, ou sur des blogs, mais pas dans les grands médias occidentaux ?

Sur son blog Powerline, l’avocat Scott Johnson demande aux agences de presse de remédier à cela :

Les menaces du Hamas ne sont pas responsables de l’ignorance et de la stupidité de la couverture des hostilités à Gaza, mais elles sont en partie responsables. Les journalistes et les médias employeurs coopèrent avec le Hamas non seulement en passant sous silence des histoires qui ne servent pas la cause du Hamas, mais aussi en ne parlant pas des conditions restrictives dans lesquelles ils travaillent.

Ce n’est pas un détail. L’opinion publique est un élément crucial dans ce conflit. Elle va jouer un rôle pour déterminer quand les combats cesseront, à quoi ressemblera le cessez-le-feu et qui portera en priorité la responsabilité pour la mort d’innocents.

Si les grands médias suppriment les images des terroristes du Hamas utilisant des civils comme des boucliers et utilisant des écoles et des hôpitaux comme des bases d’opérations, alors les gens autour du monde auront naturellement du mal à voir les Israéliens comme autre chose que des agresseurs et les Palestiniens comme autre chose que des victimes.

Ils n’ont pourtant qu’une partie de l’histoire. Et d’où je viens, une demi-vérité est considérée comme un mensonge.


Gaza: N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression "civil innocent" (Hamas’s Newspeak: Will our media ever understand that all the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza ?)

23 juillet, 2014
http://www.meforum.org/pics/large/529.jpgLaissez les petits enfants, et ne les empêchez pas de venir à moi; car le royaume des cieux est pour ceux qui leur ressemblent. Jésus (Matthieu 19: 14)
Quiconque reçoit en mon nom un petit enfant comme celui-ci, me reçoit moi-même. Jésus (Matthieu 18: 5)
Une civilisation est testée sur la manière dont elle traite ses membres les plus faibles. Pearl Buck
J’ai une prémonition qui ne me quittera pas: ce qui adviendra d’Israël sera notre sort à tous. Eric Hoffer
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie. G.K. Chesterton
Les mondes anciens étaient comparables entre eux, le nôtre est vraiment unique. Sa supériorité dans tous les domaines est tellement écrasante, tellement évidente que, paradoxalement, il est interdit d’en faire état. René Girard
On admet généralement que toutes les civilisations ou cultures devraient être traitées comme si elles étaient identiques. Dans le même sens, il s’agirait de nier des choses qui paraissent pourtant évidentes dans la supériorité du judaïque et du chrétien sur le plan de la victime. Mais c’est dans la loi juive qu’il est dit: tu accueilleras l’étranger car tu as été toi-même exilé, humilié, etc. Et ça, c’est unique. Je pense qu’on n’en trouvera jamais l’équivalent mythique. On a donc le droit de dire qu’il apparaît là une attitude nouvelle qui est une réflexion sur soi. On est alors quand même très loin des peuples pour qui les limites de l’humanité s’arrêtent aux limites de la tribu. (…) Mais il faut distinguer deux choses. Il y a d’abord le texte chrétien qui pénètre lentement dans la conscience des hommes. Et puis il y a la façon dont les hommes l’interprètent. De ce point de vue, il est évident que le Moyen Age n’interprétait pas le christianisme comme nous. Mais nous ne pouvons pas leur en faire le reproche. Pas plus que nous pouvons faire le reproche aux Polynésiens d’avoir été cannibales. Parce que cela fait partie d’un développement historique. (…) Il faut commencer par se souvenir que le nazisme s’est lui-même présenté comme une lutte contre la violence: c’est en se posant en victime du traité de Versailles que Hitler a gagné son pouvoir. Et le communisme lui aussi s’est présenté comme une défense des victimes. Désormais, c’est donc seulement au nom de la lutte contre la violence qu’on peut commettre la violence. Autrement dit, la problématique judaïque et chrétienne est toujours incorporée à nos déviations. (…) Et notre souci des victimes, pris dans son ensemble comme réalité, n’a pas d’équivalent dans l’histoire des sociétés humaines. (…) Le souci des victimes a (…) unifié le monde. René Girard
Je crois que le moment décisif en Occident est l’invention de l’hôpital. Les primitifs s’occupent de leurs propres morts. Ce qu’il y a de caractéristique dans l’hôpital c’est bien le fait de s’occuper de tout le monde. C’est l’hôtel-Dieu donc c’est la charité. Et c’est visiblement une invention du Moyen-Age. René Girard
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la "victime inconnue", comme on dirait aujourd’hui le "soldat inconnu". Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
Dans le monde moderne, même les ennemis de la raison ne peuvent être ennemis de la raison. Même les plus déraisonnables doivent être, d’une façon ou d’une autre, raisonnables. (…) En cohérence avec cette idée, les socialistes regardaient ce qui se passait outre-Rhin et refusaient simplement de croire que ces millions d’Allemands avaient adhéré à un mouvement politique dont les principes conjuguaient théories paranoïaques du complot, haines à glacer le sang, superstitions moyenâgeuses et appel au meurtre. Les kamikazés étaient certes fous, mais la faute en incombait à leurs ennemis, pas à leurs dirigeants ni à leurs propres doctrines. (…) le nihilisme palestinien ne pouvait signifier qu’une chose: que leur souffrance était encore pire … Paul Berman
Le département de l’information du ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité nationale exhorte les militants sur les sites de médias sociaux, en particulier Facebook, à corriger certains des termes couramment employés en rapport avec l’agression dans la bande de Gaza. La vidéo suivante, du département de l’information, appelle tous les militants à utiliser la terminologie appropriée, pour jouer leur rôle dans le renforcement du front intérieur et transmettre correctement les informations au monde entier. (…) Toute personne tuée ou tombée en martyr doit être appelée « civil de Gaza ou de Palestine », avant de préciser son rôle dans le djihad ou son grade militaire. N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression « civil innocent » ou « citoyen innocent » en évoquant les victimes des attaques israéliennes sur Gaza. Commencez [vos rapports sur] les actions de résistance par l’expression « en réponse à la cruelle attaque israélienne », et concluez avec la phrase : « Ces nombreuses personnes sont des martyrs depuis qu’Israël a lancé son agression contre Gaza ». Assurez-vous toujours de maintenir le principe : « Le rôle de l’occupation est d’attaquer, et nous en Palestine sommes toujours en mode réaction ». Attention à ne pas répandre les rumeurs de porte-parole israéliens, en particulier celles qui portent atteinte au front intérieur. Méfiez-vous d’adopter la version de l’occupation [des événements]. Vous devez toujours émettre des doutes [sur leur version], la réfuter et la considérer comme fausse. Évitez de publier des photos de tirs de roquettes sur Israël depuis les centres-villes de Gaza. Cela [servirait de] prétexte pour attaquer des zones résidentielles de la bande de Gaza. Ne publiez pas ou ne partagez pas de photos ou de clips vidéo montrant des sites de lancement de roquettes ou [les forces] du mouvement de résistance à Gaza. (…) ne publiez pas de photos d’hommes masqués avec des armes lourdes en gros plan, afin que votre page ne soit pas fermée [par Facebook] sous prétexte d’incitation à la violence. Dans vos informations, assurez-vous de préciser : « Les obus fabriqués localement tirés par la résistance sont une réponse naturelle à l’occupation israélienne qui tire délibérément des roquettes contre des civils en Cisjordanie et à Gaza »… (…) • Lorsque vous vous adressez à l’Occident, vous devez utiliser un discours politique, rationnel et convaincant, et éviter les propos émotifs mendiant de l’empathie. Certains à travers le monde sont dotés d’une conscience ; vous devez maintenir le contact avec eux et les utiliser au profit de la Palestine. Leur rôle est de faire honte de l’occupation et d’exposer ses violations. • Évitez d’entrer dans une discussion politique avec un Occidental pour le convaincre que l’Holocauste est un mensonge et une tromperie ; en revanche, assimilez-le aux crimes d’Israël contre les civils palestiniens. • Le narratif de la vie comparé au narratif du sang : [en parlant] à un ami arabe, commencez par le nombre de martyrs. [Mais en parlant] à un ami occidental, commencez par le nombre de blessés et de morts. Veillez à humaniser la souffrance palestinienne. Essayez de dépeindre la souffrance des civils à Gaza et en Cisjordanie pendant les opérations de l’occupation et ses bombardements de villes et villages. • Ne publiez pas de photos de commandants militaires. Ne mentionnez pas leurs noms en public, ne faites pas l’éloge de leurs succès dans des conversations avec des amis étrangers ! Directives du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas aux activistes en ligne
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Cela prouve le caractère de notre noble peuple, combattant du djihad, qui défend ses droits et ses demeures le torse nu, avec son sang. La politique d’un peuple qui affronte les avions israéliens la poitrine nue, pour protéger ses habitations, s’est révélée efficace contre l’occupation. Cette politique reflète la nature de notre peuple brave et courageux. Nous, au Hamas, appelons notre peuple à adopter cette politique, pour protéger les maisons palestiniennes. Sami Abu Zuhri (porte-parole du Hamas, juillet 2014)
Depuis le début de l’opération, au moins 35 bâtiments résidentiels auraient été visés et détruits, entraînant dans la majorité des pertes civiles enregistrées jusqu’à présent, y compris une attaque le 8 Juillet à Khan Younis qui a tué sept civils, dont trois enfants, et blessé 25 autres. Dans la plupart des cas, avant les attaques, les habitants ont été avertis de quitter, que ce soit via des appels téléphoniques de l’armée d’Israël ou par des tirs de missiles d’avertissement. Rapport ONU (09.07.14)
Personne n’évoque les "populations civiles" israéliennes, à croire que tout Israël est un camp militaire et qu’à Gaza, il n’y a que des civils. On ne voit d’ailleurs qu’eux à la T.V. Qui tirent les roquettes et les missiles ? Qui se demande pourquoi les cameramen palestiniens et arabes qui abreuvent le monde de scènes sanguinolentes n’ont jamais montré d’hommes en armes? (…)  Et les traits qui l’ont frappée sont d’un genre unique. La morale et l’humanitarisme ont été fourbis comme des armes. Propres. Morales. Totales. Le discours de la cruauté d’Israël, mis en scène par le Hamas et les télévisions arabes, a été asséné soir et matin en crescendo de l’appel fébrile à sauver un peuple d’un génocide. A Gaza il n’y avait qu’une armée d’enfants, des hôpitaux, des réserves de vivres, des centrales électriques… Shlomo Trigano
Ambulance : camionnette revêtue des insignes du Croissant rouge. Elle a pour fonctions principales : (1) le transport de terroristes vers les lieux d’un attentat, (2) le transport d’armes, (3) l’exhibition télévisée (voir : CNN, BBC, France 2, etc.) au cas où elle a été atteinte par un projectile, et (4), le cas échéant, le transport des blessés (s’en procurer de faux si on n’en a pas de vrais sous la main et arriver à l’hôpital dans un vrai show son et lumière, après avoir prévenu les media susnommées). A ne jamais oublier, plus généralement, dans les mises en scène de douleur palestinienne.
Enfants : futurs suicidés s’ils sont « palestiniens ».
Hamas : organisation charitable ; pourvoyeur de services sociaux pour les Palestiniens ; vecteur de La Rage et de La Frustration. Partisan irréductible de l’extermination des Juifs et d’Israël. Ne traiter le fait que comme exagération rhétorique bien compréhensible de la part des Victimes.
Innocent : catégorie inexistante hors le monde musulman.
Palestinien: (1) bébé phoque de la Gauche européenne et de la Droite bien-pensante. (2) Espèce de victime largement préférée au Tibétain, au Darfourien, à l’Indio et autres. A l’avantage sur les autres d’être corrélatif de la haine du Juif. (3) D’apparition récente, inventé par le Colonel Nasser et fort prisé des régimes arabes et musulmans les jours de sommets diplomatiques. (4) N’est jamais responsable des conséquences de ses actions: c’est toujours la faute des autres.
Proportionnalité: absence de réaction israélienne à une sanglante attaque arabe
Victime : état natif, permanent et éternel du Palestinien. Laurent Murawiec
Tout comme le pacifiste découvre immédiatement l’ennemi chez celui qui n’admet pas sa conception de la paix, les idéologies de la société sans ennemi (par exemple le marxisme) maudissent la guerre, mais préconisent la révolution et exigent que les hommes s’entretuent en vue de mettre la guerre hors-la-loi. On a assez souvent signalé l’imposture que couvre cette attitude et, bien que cet argument appartienne à la polémique courante, il n’est pas inutile de l’évoquer, car il rappelle par trop le ridicule de la querelle hideuse entre Bossuet et Fénelon sur le… pur amour (que n’ont-ils commencé par s’aimer !). La chose la plus grave consiste cependant dans le ressentiment qu’engendre inévitablement la bonne conscience des partisans de ces idéologies : étant donné que leur fin est bonne et hautement humaine, les ennemis ne peuvent être que des criminels ou même l’incarnation du mal (…). C’est ainsi qu’on justifie au nom de l’humanité l’extermination inhumaine des ennemis, car tout est permis pour débarrasser le monde de ces hors-la-loi et hors-l’humanité qui, de ce fait, sont des coupables. Dans ces conditions la notion de paix perd toute signification, étant entendu que politiquement elle consiste en un contrat ou traité, ou plutôt la paix devient impossible. Comment pourrait-il en être autrement, puisque toute action de l’ennemi, fût-elle désintéressée et noble, devient automatiquement perverse, immorale et criminelle, tandis que toute action du révolutionnaire, même scélérate et atroce, devient sainte, juste et irréprochable ? Nier l’ennemi, c’est nier la paix. Il ne faudrait cependant pas jeter la pierre au seul marxisme par exemple, car, par certains côtés, il est un enfant du libéralisme dont l’un des principes essentiels est justement la négation de l’ennemi politique pour ne laisser subsister que les concurrents économiques. (…) On pourrait également montrer que la négation de l’ennemi est contenue dans le fait que la charte des Nations-Unies repose en principe sur une curieuse conception du statu quo. Elle demande aux membres de respecter l’intégrité territoriale des Etats : ce qui signifie que nul Etat ne saurait être amputé par la violence ou annexé de force par un autre. Or quel est le but de toute guerre (en dehors de la guerre civile) ? Ou bien la conquête, c’est-à-dire l’annexion territoriale, ou bien l’indépendance, c’est-à-dire la constitution d’un nouvel Etat qui se détache d’un autre. Si l’O.N.U. condamne la conquête, elle soutient par contre la guerre d’indépendance. Ce propos ne cherche pas à donner tort à l’O.N.U. sur ce point, mais à saisir sans ambages le phénomène de la guerre et à comprendre que certaines théories de la paix sont souvent un bellicisme qui s’ignore. (..) Nous touchons à la lumière de ces exemples, à l’équivoque fondamentale de l’O.N.U. : elle subit pratiquement la réalité de l’ennemi politique tout en le niant théoriquement. Autrement dit, elle reste un haut lieu de la politique, parce qu’elle n’arrive pas et ne peut parvenir à exorciser l’inimitié. Celle-ci demeure à l’arrière-fond de toutes les discussions et les commande, bien qu’on ne veuille pas le reconnaître explicitement. Si nous cherchions des preuves historiques de l’impossibilité d’une politique sans ennemi, nous pourrions entre autres invoquer celle-là. En vérité, une évidence n’a pas besoin de preuves. Ce qui nous paraît déterminant, c’est que la non reconnaissance de l’ennemi est un obstacle à la paix. Avec qui la faire, s’il n’y a plus d’ennemis ? Elle ne s’établit pas d’elle-même par l’adhésion des hommes à l’une ou l’autre doctrine pacifiste, surtout que leur nombre suscite une rivalité qui peut aller jusqu’à l’inimitié, sans compter que les moyens dits pacifiques ne sont pas toujours ni même nécessairement les meilleurs pour préserver une paix existante. On sait aujourd’hui que si les Français et les Anglais avaient eu une autre attitude lors de l’entrée des troupes allemandes dans la zone démilitarisée en 1935, on aurait peut-être réussi à faire tomber Hitler et ainsi empêché la guerre de 1939. Il y a également de fortes chances qu’une action offensive des Alliés les aurait fait passer pour coupables aux yeux de l’opinion mondiale. En général ; on ne connaît qu’après coup l’utilité d’une guerre préventive pour préserver la paix. Julien Freund
L’épouvantable tragédie qui vient de se dérouler dans le ciel de l’Ukraine pousse à réfléchir à de très nombreuses dimensions de l’avenir du monde. Elle confirme d’abord la probabilité du scénario du pire, celui d’un monde sans règle, sans gendarme, dominé par des bandes, politiques ou criminelles. Un monde sans Etat, dont j’ai déjà expliqué ici qu’il ressemblerait à la Somalie, pays sans Etat depuis plus de 20 ans, submergé de seigneurs de la guerre, de prêcheurs de toutes fois et de criminels en tout genre. La « somalisation » est la forme cauchemardesque de la globalisation, quand celle-ci s’installe sans règle de droit, sans police ni justice. C’est bien ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, jusque dans une région qu’on pensait préservée, parce qu’elle est au cœur de l’Europe, l’Ukraine, où des bandes rivales s’opposent, sans que ni l’Etat ukrainien, ni les institutions internationales compétentes, de l’OSCE à la BERD, du Conseil de l’Europe à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme, ne puissent s’y opposer. La destruction par un missile d’un avion de ligne volant en haute altitude montre que la somalisation, l’anarchie, n’est limitée par rien. Après avoir atteint la mer, au large des côtes somaliennes, elle atteint le ciel, au-dessus de l’Ukraine. On peut craindre que, désormais, aucun avion de ligne ne soit plus à l’abri nulle part au monde. Et d’abord aux abords des aéroports de l’Afrique, où prolifèrent les missiles sol-air à courte portée, depuis l’imprudente action franco-anglaise en Libye. Ces armes de mort peuvent être tirées d’une maison voisine de tout aéroport sur un avion en approche. Si cela se produit une seule fois, ce serait un formidable coup porté à l’économie mondiale. Non seulement aux fabricants d’avions, aux compagnies aériennes, mais aussi à tout le commerce de haute valeur ajoutée, à tous les échanges d’affaires et intellectuels, à tout le tourisme, qui n’existeraient pas sans le transport aérien. Rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux. Et qu’ils acceptent de leur vendre, de leur confier, ou de laisser entre leurs mains de puissantes armes de mort. Cette attitude est aussi absurde et criminelle que celle qui conduisit le mahatma Gandhi, en juillet 1939 et décembre 1940, à écrire à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler, pour lui demander d’être raisonnable. Si on se conduit avec les mafias et les mouvements terroristes comme avec des gens raisonnables, c’est le monde entier qui sera bientôt invivable. Jacques Attali
Choses entendues ce lundi 21 juillet sur 2 chaines de TV. LCI: "RAID israélien contre un hôpital palestinien"; France 2: "Un hôpital pris pour cible". Pas la moindre allusion au fait qu’un obus de char peut frapper par erreur un bâtiment civil, ou (ce qui s’est déjà produit), qu’une rampe de lancement de missile du Hamas, ou un tireur palestinien armé d’un lance-missile palestinien aient tiré contre une force israélienne à faible distance de l’aile de l’hôpital touché, s’attirant une réplique guidée électroniquement qui repère automatiquement la source du tir et la détruit. Non, le but recherché, depuis le début de la belligérance anti-israélienne est toujours le même: présenter les soldats de Tsahal comme des monstres assoiffés de sang et tueurs d’enfants. Autre mini-reportage indigne au JT de 20h de France 2 (chaîne nationale de France 2): Le reporter photographe est complaisamment guidé par un médecin (ou un infirmier) au bord des larmes, qui lui présente deux petites filles légèrement blessées en apparence, mais dont l’une, selon le médecin, sera infirme pour la vie (aucun détail sur la nature de la blessure). Puis vient le pire: avec la même mine torturée et sur un ton pathétique, l’employé de l’hôpital raconte devant la caméra, les yeux embués d’émotion: "Vous voyez cette petite fille (l’une des deux blessées), elle voulait être médecin, et maintenant quand on lui demande ce qu’elle fera plus tard, elle dit ‘FABRIQUER DES BOMBES POUR LES JETER SUR LES ISRAELIENS!" Dommage pour la médecine. Dommage surtout pour les citoyens israéliens une fois de plus diabolisés et désignés à la vengeance, et aux pires traitements s’ils venaient à tomber aux mains des fanatiques qui dirigent ce peuple. Comment la chaîne nationale peut-elle se faire le relais, le porte-voix d’une pareille insanité, meurtrière de surcroît. Car ce discours de haine et d’incitation n’est pas le fruit de la douleur: il est une composante systématique du récit nationaliste palestinien, taillé sur mesure et illustré par des clichés de guerre et des exhibitions de victimes palestiniennes sanguinolentes (de préférence des enfants), dont le but est de criminaliser le peuple israélien devant l’opinion internationale, de susciter sa colère, et de la rallier à la cause palestinienne, quelles que soient l’horreur des traitements qui seront infligées aux futures victimes israéliennes, dont leurs ennemis veulent la mort. Alors, le ‘bon citoyen’ ‘politiquement correct’ et ‘défenseur des droits de l’homme’, laissera massacrer "les Juifs", en se justifiant à bon compte en ces termes (ou d’autres analogues), en guise d’épitaphe funéraire: "Y z’avaient qu’à pas prendre la Palestine qui n’est pas à eux ni profiter de leur supériorité militaire écrasante pour massacrer les femmes et les enfants palestiniens." Ah, j’allais oublier: vous avez sans doute remarqué comme les hommes palestiniens – entendez, les combattants du Hamas, sont étrangement absents de ce discours, parce qu’il va de soi que ce n’est pas eux que Tsahal combat, mais les femmes et les enfants! Alors, vous pouvez en être sûrs, on aura depuis longtemps oublié les milliers de missiles tirés depuis des années, de Gaza, sur les villes et les citoyens juifs d’Israël, ainsi que les enlevés, les massacrés, et tout récemment les trois adolescents qui n’avaient ni envahi l’ancienne patrie de leur peuple, ni tué des femmes et des enfants. Normal: ils étaient Juifs, et un juif, même enfant, comme disaient les nazis, cela devient un adulte, un trafiquant ou un ploutocrate et, en Israël, un militaire, donc un tueur." Je reviendrai plus tard sur la honteuse reculade du gouvernement qui autorise dorénavant les manifestations anti-israéliennes (excusez le lapsus ‘politiquement correct’, je voulais dire ANTIJUIVES !) qu’il avait interdites « fermement », il y a tout juste quelques jours… Menahem Macina
Où sont les routes et les chemins de fer, les industries et les infrastructures du nouvel Etat palestinien ? Nulle part. A la place, ils ont construit kilomètres après   kilomètres des tunnels souterrains, destinés à y cacher leurs armes, et lorsque les choses se sont corsées, ils y ont placé leur commandement militaire. Ils ont investi  des millions dans l’importation et la production de roquettes,  de lance-roquettes, de mortiers, d’armes légères et même de drones. Ils les ont délibérément placés dans des écoles, hôpitaux, mosquées et habitations privées pour exposer au mieux  leurs citoyens. Ce jeudi,  les Nations unies ont annoncé  que 20 roquettes avaient été découvertes dans l’une de leurs écoles à Gaza. Ecole depuis laquelle ils ont tiré des roquettes sur Jérusalem et Tel-Aviv. Pourquoi ? Les roquettes ne peuvent même pas infliger de lourds dégâts, étant presque, pour la plupart,  interceptées par le système anti-missiles « Dôme de fer » dont dispose Israël. Même, Mahmoud Abbas, le Président de l’Autorité palestinienne a demandé : « Qu’essayez-vous d’obtenir en tirant des roquettes ? Cela n’a aucun sens à moins  que vous ne compreniez, comme cela a été expliqué dans l’éditorial du Tuesday Post, que le seul but est de provoquer une riposte de la part d’Israël. Cette riposte provoque la mort de nombreux Palestiniens et  la télévision internationale diffuse en boucle les images de ces victimes. Ces images étant un outil de propagande fort télégénique,  le Hamas appelle donc sa propre population, de manière persistante, à ne pas chercher d’abris lorsqu’Israël lance ses tracts avertissant d’une attaque imminente. Cette manière d’agir relève d’une totale amoralité et d’une stratégie  malsaine et pervertie.  Mais cela repose, dans leur propre logique,  sur un principe tout à fait  rationnel,  les yeux du monde étant constamment braqués sur   Israël, le mélange d’antisémitisme classique et d’ignorance historique presque totale  suscitent  un réflexe de sympathie envers  ces défavorisés du Tiers Monde. Tout ceci mène à l’affaiblissement du soutien à Israël, érodant ainsi  sa  légitimité  et  son droit à l’auto-défense. Dans un monde dans lequel on constate de telles inversions morales kafkaïennes, la perversion du Hamas  devient tangible.   C’est un monde dans lequel le massacre de Munich n’est qu’un film  et l’assassinat de Klinghoffer un opéra (1),  dans lesquels les tueurs sont montrés sous un jour des plus sympathiques.   C’est un monde dans lequel les Nations-Unies ne tiennent pas compte de l’inhumanité   des criminels de guerre de la pire race,  condamnant systématiquement Israël – un Etat en guerre depuis 66 ans – qui, pourtant, fait d’extraordinaires efforts afin d’épargner d’innocentes victimes que le Hamas, lui, n’hésite pas à utiliser  en tant que boucliers humains. C’est tout à l’honneur des Israéliens qui, au milieu de toute cette folie, n’ont  perdu ni leur sens moral, ni leurs nerfs.  Ceux qui sont hors de la région, devraient avoir l’obligation de faire état de cette aberration  et de dire la vérité. Ceci n’a jamais été aussi aveuglément limpide. Charles Krauthammer
Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the "Palestine question" has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense. Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does. No one in the international community pays any attention to the ongoing abuse of Palestinians across the Arab world from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, which deprives its 500,000-strong Palestinian population of the most basic human rights from property ownership, to employment in numerous professions, to free movement. Nor has there been any international outcry when Arab countries have expelled and/or massacred their Palestinian populations on a grand scale. The fact that the thoroughly westernized King Hussein of Jordan killed more Palestinians in the course of a single month than Israel had in decades was never held against him or dented his widely held perception as a man of peace. (…) Kuwait’s 1991 slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians who lived and worked in the emirate (and the expulsion of most of its 400,000-strong Palestinian population) passed virtually unnoticed by the international media, as has the murder of thousands of Palestinians in the ongoing Syrian civil war and the reduction of countless others to destitution and starvation. By contrast, any Palestinian or Arab casualty inflicted by Israel comes under immediate international criticism. Take the blanket media coverage of Israel’s military response in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008- 09, 2012) but not of the original Hezbollah and Hamas attacks triggering it, in stark contrast to the utter indifference to bloodier conflicts going on around the world at the same time. On July 19, 2006, for example, 5,000 Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in what it claimed was an action to "crush" an Islamist threat to its neighbor’s government. A month later, Sri Lankan artillery has pounded territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers resulting in mass displacement and over 500 deaths, including an estimated 50 children following the Sri Lankan air force’s bombing of an orphanage. But neither of these events gained any media coverage, let alone emergency sessions of the UN Security Council, just as the bloodbath in Iraq at the time, with its estimated 3,000 deaths a month at the hands of Islamist militants sank into oblivion while the world focused on Lebanon, just as the current slaughter in Syria and Iraq is presently ignored. And what about the-then long-running genocide in Darfur, with its estimated 300,000 dead and at least 2.5 million refugees? Or the war in the Congo, with over four million dead or driven from their homes, or in Chechnya where an estimated 150,000- 160,000 have died and up to a third of the population has been displaced, at the hands of the Russian military? None of these tragedies saw the worldwide mass demonstrations as has been the case during the Lebanon and Gaza crises. Nor should we forget that Hezbollah has been implicated in dozens of international terror attacks from Brussels to Buenos Aires. (…) The killing of Jews and the destruction or seizure of their worldly properties is hardly news. For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s "disproportionate" response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side. A profoundly depressing state of affairs indeed. But so long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of "disproportionate force" – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, "The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground." Efraim Karsh
The only way to make sense of Hamas’ behavior is to recognize that its goal is not to stop the killing but to exploit it. That explains why Hamas encouraged Gazans to stand atop targeted buildings and ordered them to stay in areas where Israel had issued pre-invasion evacuation warnings. It also explains why Hamas insists that Israel grant concessions in exchange for a cease-fire. Hamas thinks a cease-fire is a favor to Israel. Given the gross imbalance in casualties, that’s a pretty clear statement that Hamas thinks Gazan deaths should bother Israel more than they bother Hamas. That is just the latest display of Hamas’ warped priorities. Another illustration is its tunnels. It has diverted hundreds of thousands of tons of building materials from civilian projects to tunnel construction. The tunnels to Egypt, which are largely for commerce, are rudimentary. The tunnels to Israel, which are for military attacks, are elaborate. Hamas cares more about hurting Israelis than about helping Gazans. William Saletan
All the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza. Everything about this conflict is asymmetrical—Hamas wears no uniforms and they don’t meet Israeli soldiers on battlefields. With the exception of kaffiyeh scarves, it isn’t possible to distinguish a Hamas militant from a noncombatant pharmacist. In Vietnam, the U.S. military learned guerrilla warfare in jungles. In Gaza, the Jewish state has had to adapt to the altogether surreal terrain of apartment complexes and schoolhouses. There are now reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Believe it or not, a donkey laden with explosives detonated just the other day. The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians. Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely. The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation. What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore. To make matters worse, Gazans sheltered terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside ottoman sofas and dirty diapers. When Israel warned them of impending attacks, the inhabitants defiantly refused to leave. On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets. It also calls your parenting skills into serious question. In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away from the demonstrably unfit parent. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC where they can call Israel a genocidal murderer. The absurdity of Israel’s Gaza campaigns requires an entirely new terminology for the conduct of wars. "Enemy combatants," "theater of war," "innocent civilians," "casualties of war" all have ambiguous meaning in Gaza. There is nothing casual about why so many Gazans die; these deaths are tragically predictable and predetermined. Hamas builds tunnels for terrorists and their rockets; bomb shelters for the people of Gaza never entered the Hamas leaders’ minds. So much innocence is lost in this citizen army, which serves as the armor for demented leaders and their dwindling arsenal of rockets and martyrs. In Gaza the death toll of civilians is an endgame disguised as a tragedy. It is a sideshow—without death, Hamas has nothing to show for its efforts. Surely there are civilians who have been killed in this conflict who have taken every step to distance themselves from this fast-moving war zone, and children whose parents are not card-carrying Hamas loyalists. These are the true innocents of Gaza. It is they for whom our sympathy should be reserved. The impossibility of identifying them, and saving them, is Israel’s deepest moral dilemma. Thane Rosenbaum
For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% successs rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years. Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported: “This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said. “Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II. Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term. Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf states, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran. Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth. David P. Goldman
Pourquoi les guerres d’aujourd’hui semblent-elle plus meurtrières que jamais pour les enfants? Pour un journaliste du New Yorker, c’est parce que «les conflits actuels se déroulent de plus en plus souvent à l’intérieur des frontières qu’entre les Etats; les combats sont désormais dans les rues des villes, envahissant les salles de jeux des maisons et les jardins d’enfants.» Cela fait écho à un autre rapport récent de l’ONU, centré sur l’Afghanistan, qui montre que le nombre de victimes parmi les femmes et les enfants a augmenté l’an dernier plus vite que chez les hommes adultes. La cause? La guérilla faite de bombes artisanales contre les véhicules militaires a fait place à des combats armés dans des zones urbaines densément peuplées. Et pourtant, les guerres sont aujourd’hui moins meurtrières pour les civils qu’elles ont pu l’être par le passé. Mais les violences contre les enfants ne sont plus de simples dégâts collatéraux. Des rapports sur les organisations criminelles d’Amérique centrale montrent qu’elles ciblent les enfants, soit pour les recruter, soit pou s’en servir comme d’un moyen de punir ou d’extorquer leurs parents. Boko Haram sait que son action contre les écolières va lui faire une publicité internationale. Les trois adolescents israéliens qui ont été tués le mois dernier ont été clairement et intentionnellement ciblés, comme ce fut le cas pour l’adolescent palestinien tué en représailles, parce que ce sont des enfants. Dans le cadre de son affrontement avec les forces kurdes, EIIL a délibérément pris pour cible les familles avec enfants. Les forces syriennes ont été accusés de viser délibérément des enfants, etc. Dans un monde où la violence se déplace des champs de batailles pour des armées soutenues par l’État à des affrontements de rues entre communautés, les enfants ne sont pas seulement souvent les victimes, ils sont souvent les cibles. Joshua Keating

La guerre n’est décidément plus ce qu’elle était !

Combattants sans uniforme, combats sans champ de bataille,  dépots d’armes et pas de tirs intallés dans des écoles, jardins d’enfants, mosquées ou hôpitaux,  transports de troupes en ambulance, ânes–suicide …

Armée ennemie qui avertit avant ses frappes avec appels téléphoniques, tracts et coups de semonce, autorités ennemies qui fournissent quotidiennement électricité, nourritures et médicaments ou s’excusent et promettent une enquête lors d’erreurs de tir, responsables politiques ennemis accusés de trop bien protéger leur population

A l’heure où, avec l’inexorable montée des pertes palestiniennes, nos belles âmes, médias et djihadistes du dimanche se déchainent comme à leur habitude contre le seul Israël …

En ces temps étranges où  l’ONU elle-même reconnait à nouveau  la présence de roquettes dans l’une de ses écoles après celles qu’elle s’est empressée de rendre à ses propriétaires pour l’usage que l’on sait …

Et que, contre toutes les provisions du droit de la guerre, le porte-parole du Hamas lui-même a vanté le goût supposé de sa population pour le martyre et la mort en boucliers humains …

Pendant que, quand il ne recourt pas à la plus brutale intimidation, le Hamas publie un manuel de novlangue conseillant à ses activistes en ligne de ne parler que de "civils innocents" et d’éviter de révéler que les roquettes sont tirées de zones civiles …

Comment s’expliquer l’incroyable aveuglement de notre presse bien-pensante devant l’évidence ?

A savoir le détournement systématique et cynique, par le Hamas, des valeurs les plus chères de l’Occident, autrement dit le souci des victimes et la défense du plus faible et notamment des enfants …

Et le fait, comme le rappelle très justement Jacques Attali pour le cas des missiles sur son blog, que "rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront, à l’instar du mahatma Gandhi qui écrivait  à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler pour lui demander d’être raisonnable, que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux ?

Hamas’s Civilian Death Strategy
Gazans shelter terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside sofas and dirty diapers.
Thane Rosenbaum
The Wall Street Journal
July 21, 2014

Let’s state the obvious: No one likes to see dead children. Well, that’s not completely true: Hamas does. They would prefer those children to be Jewish, but there is greater value to them if they are Palestinian. Outmatched by Israel’s military, handicapped by rocket launchers with the steady hands of Barney Fife, Hamas is playing the long game of moral revulsion.

With this conflict about to enter its third week, winning the PR war is the best Hamas can hope to achieve. Their weapon of choice, however, seems to be the cannon fodder of their own people, performing double duty in also sounding the drumbeat of Israeli condemnation. If you can’t beat Iron Dome, then deploy sacrificial children as human shields.

Civilian casualties will continue to mount. The evolving story will focus on the collateral damage of Palestinian lives. Israel’s moral dilemma will receive little attention. Each time the ledgers of relative loss are reported, world public opinion will turn against the Jewish state and box Israel into an even tighter corner of the Middle East.

All the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza. Everything about this conflict is asymmetrical—Hamas wears no uniforms and they don’t meet Israeli soldiers on battlefields. With the exception of kaffiyeh scarves, it isn’t possible to distinguish a Hamas militant from a noncombatant pharmacist. In Vietnam, the U.S. military learned guerrilla warfare in jungles. In Gaza, the Jewish state has had to adapt to the altogether surreal terrain of apartment complexes and schoolhouses.

There are now reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Believe it or not, a donkey laden with explosives detonated just the other day.

The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians. Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely.

The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.

What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore.

To make matters worse, Gazans sheltered terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside ottoman sofas and dirty diapers. When Israel warned them of impending attacks, the inhabitants defiantly refused to leave.

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

It also calls your parenting skills into serious question. In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away from the demonstrably unfit parent. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC where they can call Israel a genocidal murderer.

The absurdity of Israel’s Gaza campaigns requires an entirely new terminology for the conduct of wars. "Enemy combatants," "theater of war," "innocent civilians," "casualties of war" all have ambiguous meaning in Gaza. There is nothing casual about why so many Gazans die; these deaths are tragically predictable and predetermined. Hamas builds tunnels for terrorists and their rockets; bomb shelters for the people of Gaza never entered the Hamas leaders’ minds.

So much innocence is lost in this citizen army, which serves as the armor for demented leaders and their dwindling arsenal of rockets and martyrs. In Gaza the death toll of civilians is an endgame disguised as a tragedy. It is a sideshow—without death, Hamas has nothing to show for its efforts.

Surely there are civilians who have been killed in this conflict who have taken every step to distance themselves from this fast-moving war zone, and children whose parents are not card-carrying Hamas loyalists. These are the true innocents of Gaza. It is they for whom our sympathy should be reserved. The impossibility of identifying them, and saving them, is Israel’s deepest moral dilemma.

Mr. Rosenbaum is a senior fellow who directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at New York University School of Law.

 Voir aussi:

Palestinian Suffering Used to Demonize Israel
As long as Palestinians continue to serve as lightning rod against Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself.
Efraim Karsh
The Jerusalem Post
July 21, 2014

No sooner had Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the sustained rocket and missile attacks on its civilian population by the Gaza-based Hamas terror organization than it came under a barrage of international criticism, with tens of thousands of violent demonstrators flocking into the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Sydney, Buenos Aires and New York, among other places, to demand an end to the "Gaza slaughter."

How can this be? Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the "Palestine question" has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense.

Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does. No one in the international community pays any attention to the ongoing abuse of Palestinians across the Arab world from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, which deprives its 500,000-strong Palestinian population of the most basic human rights from property ownership, to employment in numerous professions, to free movement. Nor has there been any international outcry when Arab countries have expelled and/or massacred their Palestinian populations on a grand scale. The fact that the thoroughly westernized King Hussein of Jordan killed more Palestinians in the course of a single month than Israel had in decades was never held against him or dented his widely held perception as a man of peace.

As the supposedly pro-Palestinian journalist Robert Fisk put it in his memoirs, King Hussein was "often difficult to fault."

Kuwait’s 1991 slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians who lived and worked in the emirate (and the expulsion of most of its 400,000-strong Palestinian population) passed virtually unnoticed by the international media, as has the murder of thousands of Palestinians in the ongoing Syrian civil war and the reduction of countless others to destitution and starvation.

By contrast, any Palestinian or Arab casualty inflicted by Israel comes under immediate international criticism.

Take the blanket media coverage of Israel’s military response in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008- 09, 2012) but not of the original Hezbollah and Hamas attacks triggering it, in stark contrast to the utter indifference to bloodier conflicts going on around the world at the same time. On July 19, 2006, for example, 5,000 Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in what it claimed was an action to "crush" an Islamist threat to its neighbor’s government. A month later, Sri Lankan artillery has pounded territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers resulting in mass displacement and over 500 deaths, including an estimated 50 children following the Sri Lankan air force’s bombing of an orphanage. But neither of these events gained any media coverage, let alone emergency sessions of the UN Security Council, just as the bloodbath in Iraq at the time, with its estimated 3,000 deaths a month at the hands of Islamist militants sank into oblivion while the world focused on Lebanon, just as the current slaughter in Syria and Iraq is presently ignored.

And what about the-then long-running genocide in Darfur, with its estimated 300,000 dead and at least 2.5 million refugees? Or the war in the Congo, with over four million dead or driven from their homes, or in Chechnya where an estimated 150,000- 160,000 have died and up to a third of the population has been displaced, at the hands of the Russian military? None of these tragedies saw the worldwide mass demonstrations as has been the case during the Lebanon and Gaza crises.

Nor should we forget that Hezbollah has been implicated in dozens of international terror attacks from Brussels to Buenos Aires.

Indeed, the response to its July 18, 1994, terror attack on the Israeli- Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA), a social center catering for Buenos Aires’ large Jewish population, provides an illuminating contrast to the relentless coverage of the 2006 events in Lebanon. It was the worst terror attack in Argentina’s history, killing 100 people and wounding more than 200. More died in this bombing than in any single action in the 2006 Lebanese war. Yet the BBC, which prides itself on the worldwide coverage, didn’t find the atrocity worth mentioning in its evening news bulletin. When confronted with a complaint by the normally timid Board of Deputies, British Jewry’s umbrella organization, the corporation offered an apology of sorts, blaming the omission on a particularly busy day.

What were those daily events that could have possibly diverted the BBC’s attention from the Argentina massacre? A perusal of the papers reveals the British premier of Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Flintstones, attended by the prince of Wales. This was also the day when Gavin Sheerard- Smith, caned and imprisoned for six months in Qatar after being convicted of buying and selling alcohol, returned to Britain professing his innocence, and when David MacGregor, an agoraphobia sufferer jailed for a fortnight for failing to pay poll tax arrears, had his sentenced quashed. An eventful day indeed.

Given the BBC’s indifference to the massacre of Argentinean Jews by Hezbollah, it is hardly surprising that the corporation, along with much of the world’s media, ignored the almost daily rocket attacks by the same group on Israel’s northern border, not to mention the constant outpouring of rockets and missiles from Gaza since the Israeli withdrawal from the territory in 2005.

And why shouldn’t they? The killing of Jews and the destruction or seizure of their worldly properties is hardly news. For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s "disproportionate" response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side.

A profoundly depressing state of affairs indeed. But so long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of "disproportionate force" – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, "The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground."

The author is professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and at the Middle East Forum, and the author most recently of Palestine Betrayed (Yale, 2010).

Voir également:

 

Gaza, Syrie, Afghanistan… Pourquoi les conflits sont-ils si meurtriers pour les enfants?
Joshua Keating
Slate
Traduit par Johan Hufnagel

20.07.2014

Et pourtant, les guerres sont aujourd’hui moins meurtrières pour les civils qu’elles ont pu l’être par le passé.

Les conflits les plus récents —du moins ceux qui ont reçu la plus grande attention internationale— impliquent particulièrement les enfants. Plus de 50 d’entre eux ont déjà été tués dans les frappes israéliennes sur la bande de Gaza, une crise qui, rappelons-le, a commencé avec l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de trois adolescents israéliens. La mort de quatre garçons palestiniens sur une plage de Gaza, comme l’a écrit Anne Barnard du New York Times, «a symbolisé ces attaques aériennes israéliennes dans la bande de Gaza qui tuent des innocents dans ce pauvre et surpeuplé territoire côtier».

Au même moment, ailleurs, les conséquences de la guerre contre la drogue se font particulièrement ressentir sur les enfants qui se trouvent de façon croissante sur la ligne de front. Au Salvador, les meurtres d’enfants ont augmenté tandis que le taux global d’homicide, à la suite d’une trêve dans la guerre des gangs, baissait.

Mentionnons aussi la campagne de terreur conduite par Boko Haram dans le nord du Nigeria, qui a attiré l’attention après l’enlèvement de 223 écolières en avril dernier. La plupart d’entre elles sont toujours entre les mains de la secte.

Le nouveau rapport annuel du Secrétariat général de l’ONU qui examinait la violence contre les enfants en 2013, parle d’un «pic important de meurtres et de mutilation d’enfants dans de nombreux endroits, y compris en Afghanistan et en Irak.» Les Nations Unies ont également enquêté sur plus de 4.000 cas d’enfants soldats recrutés de force.

Pourquoi les guerres d’aujourd’hui semblent-elle plus meurtrières que jamais pour les enfants? Pour un journaliste du New Yorker, c’est parce que «les conflits actuels se déroulent de plus en plus souvent à l’intérieur des frontières qu’entre les Etats; les combats sont désormais dans les rues des villes, envahissant les salles de jeux des maisons et les jardins d’enfants.»

Cela fait écho à un autre rapport récent de l’ONU, centré sur l’Afghanistan, qui montre que le nombre de victimes parmi les femmes et les enfants a augmenté l’an dernier plus vite que chez les hommes adultes. La cause? La guérilla faite de bombes artisanales contre les véhicules militaires a fait place à des combats armées dans des zones urbaines densément peuplées.

Mais les violences contre les enfants ne sont plus de simples dégâts collatéraux. Des rapports sur les organisations criminelles d’Amérique centrale montrent qu’elles ciblent les enfants, soit pour les recruter, soit pou s’en servir comme d’un moyen de punir ou d’extorquer leurs parents. Boko Haram sait que son action contre les écolières va lui faire une publicité internationale.

Les trois adolescents israéliens qui ont été tués le mois dernier ont été clairement et intentionnellement ciblés, comme ce fut le cas pour l’adolescent palestinien tué en représailles, parce que ce sont des enfants. Dans le cadre de son affrontement avec les forces kurdes, EIIL a délibérément pris pour cible les familles avec enfants. Les forces syriennes ont été accusés de viser délibérément des enfants, etc.

Dans un monde où la violence se déplace des champs de batailles pour des armées soutenues par l’État à des affrontements de rues entre communautés, les enfants ne sont pas seulement souvent les victimes, ils sont souvent les cibles.

Voir encore:

Directives du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas aux activistes en ligne : Parlez toujours de « civils innocents »
MEMRI
22 juillet 2014

Dans le cadre des combats qui sévissent dans la bande de Gaza, le ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas publie des lignes directrices à l’attention des utilisateurs des réseaux sociaux qui diffusent des informations sur les événements et en débattent avec des interlocuteurs étrangers.

Les lignes directrices du ministère, intitulées « Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign » [Soyez vigilants – Campagne de sensibilisation pour les activistes des médias sociaux], sont contenues dans une vidéo d’instruction mise en ligne sur son site officiel et annoncée sur ses pages Twitter et Facebook, ses comptes sociaux et ses forums. [1]

Ces directives ont pour objectif de maintenir la ligne du Hamas et d’autres organisations palestiniennes ; d’empêcher la fuite d’informations susceptibles d’avoir une valeur militaire pour Israël ; de renforcer les efforts de propagande du Hamas en dehors de la bande de Gaza, à la fois dans le monde arabe et en l’Occident ; d’éviter de porter atteinte à l’image du Hamas.

Le Hamas cherche notamment à asseoir le sentiment que ses actions ne sont que des représailles à l’offensive israélienne et que toutes les victimes de Gaza sont des « civils innocents ». De même, il tente d’effacer toute preuve montrant que des roquettes ont été tirées à partir de zones d’habitations à Gaza.

La vidéo contenant les directives, mise en ligne sur le site Internet du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas, inclut le texte suivant : « Le département de l’information du ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité nationale exhorte les militants sur les sites de médias sociaux, en particulier Facebook, à corriger certains des termes couramment employés en rapport avec l’agression dans la bande de Gaza. La vidéo suivante, du département de l’information, appelle tous les militants à utiliser la terminologie appropriée, pour jouer leur rôle dans le renforcement du front intérieur et transmettre correctement les informations au monde entier. » [2]

« Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign » : Vidéo d’instruction publiée sur la page officielle Facebook du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas

Message aux militants Facebook sur le site du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas

Voici des extraits des lignes directrices du ministère :

Toute personne tuée ou tombée en martyr doit être appelée « civil de Gaza ou de Palestine », avant de préciser son rôle dans le djihad ou son grade militaire. N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression « civil innocent » ou « citoyen innocent » en évoquant les victimes des attaques israéliennes sur Gaza.

Commencez [vos rapports sur] les actions de résistance par l’expression « en réponse à la cruelle attaque israélienne », et concluez avec la phrase : « Ces nombreuses personnes sont des martyrs depuis qu’Israël a lancé son agression contre Gaza ». Assurez-vous toujours de maintenir le principe : « Le rôle de l’occupation est d’attaquer, et nous en Palestine sommes toujours en mode réaction ».

Attention à ne pas répandre les rumeurs de porte-parole israéliens, en particulier celles qui portent atteinte au front intérieur. Méfiez-vous d’adopter la version de l’occupation [des événements]. Vous devez toujours émettre des doutes [sur leur version], la réfuter et la considérer comme fausse.

Évitez de publier des photos de tirs de roquettes sur Israël depuis les centres-villes de Gaza. Cela [servirait de] prétexte pour attaquer des zones résidentielles de la bande de Gaza. Ne publiez pas ou ne partagez pas de photos ou de clips vidéo montrant des sites de lancement de roquettes ou [les forces] du mouvement de résistance à Gaza.

Pour les administrateurs de pages d’informations sur Facebook : ne publiez pas de photos d’hommes masqués avec des armes lourdes en gros plan, afin que votre page ne soit pas fermée [par Facebook] sous prétexte d’incitation à la violence. Dans vos informations, assurez-vous de préciser : « Les obus fabriqués localement tirés par la résistance sont une réponse naturelle à l’occupation israélienne qui tire délibérément des roquettes contre des civils en Cisjordanie et à Gaza »…

En outre, le ministère de l’Intérieur a préparé une série de suggestions destinées aux activistes palestiniens qui dialoguent avec des Occidentaux via les médias sociaux. Le ministère souligne que ces conversations doivent différer des échanges avec d’autres Arabes :

• Lorsque vous vous adressez à l’Occident, vous devez utiliser un discours politique, rationnel et convaincant, et éviter les propos émotifs mendiant de l’empathie. Certains à travers le monde sont dotés d’une conscience ; vous devez maintenir le contact avec eux et les utiliser au profit de la Palestine. Leur rôle est de faire honte de l’occupation et d’exposer ses violations.

• Évitez d’entrer dans une discussion politique avec un Occidental pour le convaincre que l’Holocauste est un mensonge et une tromperie ; en revanche, assimilez-le aux crimes d’Israël contre les civils palestiniens.

• Le narratif de la vie comparé au narratif du sang : [en parlant] à un ami arabe, commencez par le nombre de martyrs. [Mais en parlant] à un ami occidental, commencez par le nombre de blessés et de morts. Veillez à humaniser la souffrance palestinienne. Essayez de dépeindre la souffrance des civils à Gaza et en Cisjordanie pendant les opérations de l’occupation et ses bombardements de villes et villages.

• Ne publiez pas de photos de commandants militaires. Ne mentionnez pas leurs noms en public, ne faites pas l’éloge de leurs succès dans des conversations avec des amis étrangers !

Voir encore:

La somalisation du ciel
Jacques Attali
21 juillet 2014
L’épouvantable tragédie qui vient de se dérouler dans le ciel de l’Ukraine pousse à réfléchir à de très nombreuses dimensions de l’avenir du monde.

Elle confirme d’abord la probabilité du scénario du pire, celui d’un monde sans règle, sans gendarme, dominé par des bandes, politiques ou criminelles. Un monde sans Etat, dont j’ai déjà expliqué ici qu’il ressemblerait à la Somalie, pays sans Etat depuis plus de 20 ans, submergé de seigneurs de la guerre, de prêcheurs de toutes fois et de criminels en tout genre. La « somalisation » est la forme cauchemardesque de la globalisation, quand celle-ci s’installe sans règle de droit, sans police ni justice.

C’est bien ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, jusque dans une région qu’on pensait préservée, parce qu’elle est au cœur de l’Europe, l’Ukraine, où des bandes rivales s’opposent, sans que ni l’Etat ukrainien, ni les institutions internationales compétentes, de l’OSCE à la BERD, du Conseil de l’Europe à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme, ne puissent s’y opposer.

La destruction par un missile d’un avion de ligne volant en haute altitude montre que la somalisation, l’anarchie, n’est limitée par rien. Après avoir atteint la mer, au large des côtes somaliennes, elle atteint le ciel, au-dessus de l’Ukraine. On peut craindre que, désormais, aucun avion de ligne ne soit plus à l’abri nulle part au monde. Et d’abord aux abords des aéroports de l’Afrique, où prolifèrent les missiles sol-air à courte portée, depuis l’imprudente action franco-anglaise en Libye. Ces armes de mort peuvent être tirées d’une maison voisine de tout aéroport sur un avion en approche. Si cela se produit une seule fois, ce serait un formidable coup porté à l’économie mondiale. Non seulement aux fabricants d’avions, aux compagnies aériennes, mais aussi à tout le commerce de haute valeur ajoutée, à tous les échanges d’affaires et intellectuels, à tout le tourisme, qui n’existeraient pas sans le transport aérien.

Rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux. Et qu’ils acceptent de leur vendre, de leur confier, ou de laisser entre leurs mains de puissantes armes de mort. Cette attitude est aussi absurde et criminelle que celle qui conduisit le mahatma Gandhi, en juillet 1939 et décembre 1940, à écrire à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler, pour lui demander d’être raisonnable. Si on se conduit avec les mafias et les mouvements terroristes comme avec des gens raisonnables, c’est le monde entier qui sera bientôt invivable.

Il faut d’urgence en tirer cinq conséquences, pour lancer cinq actions. Elles supposent une mobilisation planétaire des grands pays. Elles sont possibles.

1.                 Mettre en place d’urgence une réglementation très rigoureuse et planétaire des routes aériennes, qui s’imposerait à toutes les compagnies aériennes. Il serait fou qu’on puisse le faire pour le football et pas pour la sécurité.

2.                 Lancer une vaste campagne, politique, financière, militaire, pour récupérer tous les missiles sol-air qui sont encore dispersés entre des mains privées à travers le monde. On l’a fait pour d’autres armes, avec succès.

3.                 Plus généralement, mettre au ban des nations tout pays qui vendrait de telles armes à des mouvements séparatistes ou des marchands privés.

Puis, plus spécifiquement, pour l’Europe :

4.                 Renforcer les institutions (de la BERD à l’OSCE en passant par le Conseil de l’Europe) qui rassemblent tous les Européens, c’est-à-dire les membres de l’Union européenne, les Turcs, les Russes et les Ukrainiens.

5.                 Mettre en place une organisation sérieuse de la sécurité en Europe rassemblant tous ces pays, sans être pour autant inféodée aux Etats-Unis, dont les intérêts sont différents.

Je sais qu’une fois de plus, rien de tout cela ne sera fait. Sauf, peut-être, une fois de plus, après la catastrophe, et pas à la place.

Voir encore:

How to Save Gaza
And keep Israel and Hamas from fighting the next war.
William Saletan
Slate
July 22 2014
After two weeks of protests and denunciations, it’s time to acknowledge that outrage won’t end the war in Gaza. The most plausible way to stop this cycle of violence is through internationally supervised demilitarization. Amid so much death and destruction that may seem utterly hopeless. But in fact, many of the tools we need are already in place. Here’s an analysis of the problem and how to fix it.
1. Gazans have no government to protect them. Every day, more civilians die in Gaza. Israel, the country that’s killing them, has agreed to cease-fire proposals. But Hamas, which controls Gaza (though many of its political leaders don’t even live there), rejects these proposals and continues to fire rockets into Israel. You can argue that the rockets justify Israel’s attacks or that they serve merely as a pretext. Either way, they get more Gazans killed.

The only way to make sense of Hamas’ behavior is to recognize that its goal is not to stop the killing but to exploit it. That explains why Hamas encouraged Gazans to stand atop targeted buildings and ordered them to stay in areas where Israel had issued pre-invasion evacuation warnings. It also explains why Hamas insists that Israel grant concessions in exchange for a cease-fire. Hamas thinks a cease-fire is a favor to Israel. Given the gross imbalance in casualties, that’s a pretty clear statement that Hamas thinks Gazan deaths should bother Israel more than they bother Hamas.

That is just the latest display of Hamas’ warped priorities. Another illustration is its tunnels. It has diverted hundreds of thousands of tons of building materials from civilian projects to tunnel construction. The tunnels to Egypt, which are largely for commerce, are rudimentary. The tunnels to Israel, which are for military attacks, are elaborate. Hamas cares more about hurting Israelis than about helping Gazans.
2. The absence of a protector in Gaza has worsened Israel’s behavior. Israel knows from experience that invading and occupying Gaza is bad for Israel. During the present conflict Israel has signaled its willingness to stop, first by unilaterally honoring Egypt’s cease-fire proposal, then by postponing a ground invasion. But Hamas has pressed on, daring Israel to go further. Hamas has pressed on, daring Israel to go further. Israel has unwisely accepted the dare.
Israel has unwisely accepted the dare. Its mission has expanded from bombing the rocket launchers to destroying the tunnels. Predictably, the number of tunnels has grown. The number found so far ranges from 23 to 45. One report, based on infrared satellite imagery, says there might be 60 or more. Now the fighting has spread to Hamas’ suppliers—on Friday there was a mysterious strike in Sudan—and Israeli hawks are talking about recapturing the Gaza-Egypt border. There’s always another mission you can add to make Gaza “safer.”
Worse, Israel has adopted Hamas’ use of human shields as a blanket excuse for civilian deaths. It’s true that Hamas has used civilians this way, putting its rockets in schools, mosques, and hospitals, for example. But Israel has twisted these case-by-case abuses into a categorical claim that every civilian death is Hamas’ fault. This kind of thinking inherently corrupts an invading army. Now some Israeli government ministers are calling for sweeping measures against Gaza, such as cutting off its electricity. The line between fighting Hamas and fighting Gaza is blurring.
3. Israelis have lost faith in a military solution. Since withdrawing its troops from Gaza in 2005 (but maintaining control over Gaza’s borders, coast, and airspace), Israel has fought three wars there. By now, almost no one in Israel, other than the far-right fringe, believes force will stamp out Hamas or teach it a lasting lesson. The missiles get restocked, the tunnels get rebuilt, and every dead Hamas fighter is replaced by at least one more. Israel’s callous phrase for its periodic operations in Gaza—“mowing the grass”—is a confession that force doesn’t work. Israelis expect that after this war, they’ll be at it again within two years.
Each time, the futility becomes clearer. Gaza is so densely populated that you can’t bomb it without killing civilians, and you can’t send in ground forces without getting bogged down in the kind of urban warfare that spells death for invading troops. More than two dozen Israeli soldiers have already died in this operation, and one is missing. If Hamas captures another Gilad Shalit, it could easily extract concessions that would make the invasion a net loss for Israel.
4. There’s an obvious candidate to take over Gaza. Seven years ago, after winning a parliamentary election, Hamas seized military control of Gaza from Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. But times have changed. The Hamas regime is bankrupt, and Abbas, who preaches nonviolence, is the one with access to international agencies and donors. That’s why Hamas agreed in April to form a unity government controlled by Abbas.
Here’s where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a wrong turn. He halted peace talks with Abbas, denounced the merger, and did everything possible to sabotage it. That was stupid, because if anyone can coax Hamas toward a more rational style of government, it’s Abbas. Israelis grouse about Abbas, but he has done a lot to merit their trust. His security forces in the West Bank have cooperated with Israel even when it angers Palestinians.
Abbas would restore a government in Gaza that protects the people. He’s already coaching Hamas on how to respond more intelligently to the Israeli bombardment. (First step: Accept a cease-fire.) He’s meeting with officials from Egypt and other countries, who can help Gaza but have been spurned by Hamas. In effect, he’s being treated internationally as Hamas’ adult supervisor. And Hamas is beginning to listen.
5. The pieces of a solution are in place. Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians are converging on a proposal by Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s former defense minister, to demilitarize Gaza in exchange for $50 billion in aid. That’s nearly 30 times Gaza’s GDP, but it’s not a lot to ask from international donors, who might find it a better use of their money than paying for reconstruction after another Gaza war. (The damage from the last two weeks alone will cost $3 billion.)
A credible international coalition would have to oversee the demilitarization. That’s a useful mission to propose to the many countries that have expressed outrage over the carnage in Gaza: Put your soldiers and your money where your mouth is. (The European Union reaffirmed this commitment on Tuesday: “All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.”) Meanwhile, Hamas’ chief arms supplier, Iran, would have to be pressured to back off. Fortunately, Iran has been trying to rebuild good will and is in the midst of productive talks with the United States, to which this issue could be added.
Israel would resist yielding control of Gaza, but current conditions make Israeli flexibility more likely. The success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system has given Israelis confidence that if rockets start flying out of Gaza again, they can withstand the barrage without casualties for a while. The election of an Egyptian government hostile to Hamas strengthens Israel’s trust that Gaza’s Egyptian border won’t become an easy channel for importing weapons. Israelis also complain that loosening restrictions in Gaza after a war with Hamas would reward violence. But Israel accepted that tradeoff 20 years ago, when it agreed to the principle of land for peace.
Hamas, too, has essentially accepted this principle. Netanyahu claims that Hamas, like al-Qaida, “has no resolvable grievance.” That’s nonsense. Last week, Hamas issued a long list of demands, in exchange for which it offered Israel a 10-year truce. Many of these demands, such as an airport and the free flow of commerce across borders and the sea, are perfectly negotiable.
Ten years is a long time. If Gaza could go 10 years without another war, and build an economy that looks more like the West Bank, we might not need another deal to keep the peace in place.

Voir de plus:

Why Israel Needs to Finish the Job Now
David P. Goldman
Spengler
July 21st, 2014

There will be endless admonitions to Israel from the Obama administration, the United Nations, and so forth, demanding an early end to the Gaza war now underway. Israel’s security needs dictate the opposite: Hamas’ capacity to make war must be crippled.

Tel Aviv last week remained one of the safest cities in the world despite the incessant rocket bombardment. In the bomb shelters at the David Intercontinental, we joked about the lack of drinks and canapes at the hotel’s hastily improvised guest mixers. The cafe terraces were full every night on Dizengoff Street. But complacency on Israel’s part would be misplaced, perhaps even fatal. For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% successs rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years.

Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported:

“This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said.

“Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II.

Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term.

Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf states, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran.

Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth.

Voir encore:

Israel’s arrest of Bedouin man sheds light on Sinai kidnappings of African refugees
Rahat resident allegedly secured ransom payments for gang that abducted Eritrean and Sudanese refugees; Israel Police says ‘well-oiled’ system of kidnappers working in concert with Hebron money changers.
Yanir Yagna

Mar. 25, 2012

A Bedouin resident of southern Israel was charged last week with serving as an accomplice to a criminal organization that kidnapped Eritrean and Sudanese nationals in the Sinai Peninsula and extorted their families for ransom.

The indictment Yusuf al-Qarnawi was presented by Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office Be’er Sheva District Court on Friday and elucidates the alleged inner workings of the gang.

According to the charges, al-Qarnawi was approached in June 2011 by two alleged kidnappers, one a resident of Sinai and the other from the Gaza Strip, who requested his help in picking up ransom from family members of people they had kidnapped.

Al-Qarnawi was allegedly told to call the family and friends of the asylum seekers kidnapped in the Sinai and receive the ransom payment, according to the indictment, after which he handed the money over to the kidnappers.

The indictment states al-Qarnawi accepted five payments monthly between June 2011 and February 2012, for which he was paid $300 for ransom payments of $20,000 or less, and $450 for ransom payment of more than $20,000.

The indictment goes on to elaborate the gang’s alleged mode of operation. In June 2011, they allegedly kidnapped an Eritrean citizen, held him captive with another 70 prisoners, all blindfolded. During his captivity, he was starved, beaten, and forced to call his family and ask that they pay a $25,000 ransom, under threat of death.

Shortly after, al-Qarnawi sent his brother to pick up a $15,000 ransom from the victim’s family. A day later, they allegedly demanded the family hand over an additional $10,000.

In another case presented in the indictment, two Eritrean women were abducted. They were held chained in captivity in a house with another 40 other kidnapped persons. While in captivity, they were starved, beaten with sticks and tortured by electric shock. One the kidnappers raped one of the woman, says the indictment.

The indictment says that the kidnappers demanded $40,000 for each of the women, threatening that were they not to receive the stated ransom in full they would remove their kidneys and sell them instead. To show the families the seriousness of their intent, the kidnappers would call the victims’ families and let them hear their cries. Al-Qarnawi picked up the ransom for these two victims in person.

Commander Moti Asor of the Israel Police Southern District (Lachish Region) Counter Terror Unit, who headed the investigation, explained how the gang worked:

“The Sudanese and Eritrean citizens travel through the Sinai on their way to Israel. In the Sinai there are families that specialize in smuggling. They charge them money to get them across the border," he said. "About a year ago, these families decided to institutionalize the practice – they started hold the refugees captive and demand ransoms from them ranging between $39,000 to 40,000."

“The refugees held by them are given an opportunity to call their families and friends in Israel," said Asor. "At a later point the kidnappers threaten the kith and kin and have them listen to them torture their loved ones.”

“There is a well-oiled system of kidnappers from Gaza and Sinai, working in concert with money changers in Hebron," he added. "They reached Al-Qarnawi. He was in transport and knew traders in Gaza, that how they found him. They would send him to meetings in Tel Aviv to pick up the money. After the money was received they’d free the prisoner. Al-Qarnawi confessed his part in five cases, but we believe there are many more. There are family members that are afraid to file complaints with the police because they are illegal aliens.”

Voir enfin:

"Tu dois quitter Gaza au plus vite et arrêter de travailler"
Audrey Destouches
Libération
22 juillet 2014

TÉMOIGNAGE Le journaliste palestinien Radjaa Abou Dagga, correspondant de «Ouest France» et ancien collaborateur de «Libération», raconte les tentatives d’intimidation du Hamas.

Correspondant de Ouest France à Gaza et ancien collaborateur de Libération, Radjaa Abou Dagga partage depuis des années son temps entre Paris, où résident sa femme et son fils, et Gaza, où vivent ses parents et où il travaille. Le 18 juin, lorsqu’il veut passer la frontière de Rafah, un officier lui interdit le passage et garde son passeport comme celui de tous les Palestiniens qui tentent de passer en Egypte ce jour-là.

Après quatre semaines bloqué à Gaza sans explications, le journaliste palestinien est convoqué par le service de sécurité du Hamas dimanche dernier. «J’ai reçu l’appel d’un numéro privé. Ils me convoquaient à l’hôpital Al-Shifa, dans le centre de Gaza Ville», explique Radjaa. Il emporte avec lui ses deux téléphones, sa carte de presse et sa petite caméra.

«Es-tu correspondant pour Israël?»
A quelques mètres des urgences où les blessés des bombardements affluent sans cesse, il est reçu dans le service des consultations externes, «une petite section de l’hôpital utilisée comme administration» par une bande de jeunes combattants. «Ils étaient tous bien habillés, s’étonne Radjaa. En civil, avec un pistolet sous la chemise et certains avaient des talkies-walkies». On lui ordonne de vider ses poches, d’enlever ses chaussures et sa ceinture puis il est appelé dans une chambre d’hôpital «qui servait ce jour-là de bureau de commandement à trois personnes».

Un homme tiré à quatre épingles commence son interrogatoire : «Qui es-tu ? Comment t’appelles-tu? Que fais-tu?» «J’étais très surpris par le mode opératoire», avoue Radjaa, qui lui montre sa carte de presse en guise de réponse. Les questions fusent. On lui demande ensuite s’il parle hébreu, s’il a des relations avec Ramallah. Les jeunes partisans du Hamas l’interrogent avec insistance : «Es-tu correspondant pour Israël?» Radjaa répète qu’il travaille uniquement pour des médias français et une chaîne de radio algérienne.

C’est alors qu’un des trois hommes lui délivre ce message : «C’est à toi de choisir. Nous sommes une administration exécutive. Nous te transmettons le message de Qassam. Tu dois rester chez toi et donner tes papiers.» Abasourdi d’être visé par les brigades Ezzedine al-Qassam, la branche armée du Hamas, Radjaa essaie de se défendre et surtout de comprendre pourquoi une telle décision a été prise à son encontre. En vain. «Il est impossible de communiquer avec ces gens-là», déplore le journaliste. Il n’est pas le premier à subir ce genre de pressions et les combattants face à lui ne s’en cachent pas. «Ils sont enragés contre la présidence et m’accusent de collaborer avec Mahmoud Abbas», explique-t-il. Reporters sans frontières confirme que ce n’est pas un cas isolé. L’organisation a en effet été alertée des menaces proférées par le Hamas à l’encontre de journalistes palestiniens ou étrangers en raison de leur activité professionnelle.

«C’est pour ton bien»
L’homme qui semble être le chef le relâche finalement en lui assénant : «C’est pour ton bien mais tu dois quitter Gaza au plus vite. Je ne veux plus te voir ici, tu ne dois plus sortir de chez toi et arrêter de travailler.» Il leur explique qu’il est bien trop dangereux pour lui de rentrer maintenant dans son village d’Abassane Alkabira, près de Khan Younès, dans le sud de la bande de Gaza, mais les envoyés de Qassam ne veulent rien entendre : «Tu la fermes.»

Il est trop tard pour prendre la route, Radjaa décide de passer la nuit au bureau de presse Almanara. Vers 22 heures, il reçoit un appel d’Abouhamza, le propriétaire, qui lui demande de quitter les lieux, Radjaa le convainc de l’y laisser dormir. Abouhamza lui raconte qu’il a lui aussi reçu des menaces : «"Si Radjaa vient, le bureau sera fermé" m’ont-ils dit. On ne joue pas avec ces gens-là pendant la guerre». Au matin, Abouhamza vient s’assurer lui-même de son départ. «Il est pro-Hamas», conclut le journaliste.

Depuis, Radjaa se retranche dans sa maison d’Abassane Alkabira. Il a pu récupérer son passeport le lendemain.  Il tentera à nouveau de franchir la frontière de Rafah pour rentrer en France mardi soir.
Recueilli par Audrey Destouches


Algérie: Non à la judaïsation ! (What about the other nakbas? : while salafists protest proposed reopening of the few remaining Algerian synagogues)

17 juillet, 2014
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Une ancienne synagogue, à Tlemcen, en Algérie, aujourd’hui transformée en école d’arts martiaux

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Une ancienne synagogue, à Paris, en France, aujourd’hui transformée en ambassade

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http://static.dreuz.info/wp-content/uploads/BsnTYzPCAAAebRp-500x351.jpghttps://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bsq5OXZCEAAfS8J.jpg:largeVous aimerez l’étranger, car vous avez été étrangers dans le pays d’Égypte. Deutéronome 10: 19
On admet généralement que toutes les civilisations ou cultures devraient être traitées comme si elles étaient identiques. Dans le même sens, il s’agirait de nier des choses qui paraissent pourtant évidentes dans la supériorité du judaïque et du chrétien sur le plan de la victime. Mais c’est dans la loi juive qu’il est dit: tu accueilleras l’étranger car tu as été toi-même exilé, humilié, etc. Et ça, c’est unique. Je pense qu’on n’en trouvera jamais l’équivalent mythique. On a donc le droit de dire qu’il apparaît là une attitude nouvelle qui est une réflexion sur soi. On est alors quand même très loin des peuples pour qui les limites de l’humanité s’arrêtent aux limites de la tribu. (…)  Mais il faut distinguer deux choses. Il y a d’abord le texte chrétien qui pénètre lentement dans la conscience des hommes. Et puis il y a la façon dont les hommes l’interprètent. De ce point de vue, il est évident que le Moyen Age n’interprétait pas le christianisme comme nous. Mais nous ne pouvons pas leur en faire le reproche. Pas plus que nous pouvons faire le reproche aux Polynésiens d’avoir été cannibales. Parce que cela fait partie d’un développement historique. (…) Il faut commencer par se souvenir que le nazisme s’est lui-même présenté comme une lutte contre la violence: c’est en se posant en victime du traité de Versailles que Hitler a gagné son pouvoir. Et le communisme lui aussi s’est présenté comme une défense des victimes. Désormais, c’est donc seulement au nom de la lutte contre la violence qu’on peut commettre la violence. Autrement dit, la problématique judaïque et chrétienne est toujours incorporée à nos déviations. (…)  Et notre souci des victimes, pris dans son ensemble comme réalité, n’a pas d’équivalent dans l’histoire des sociétés humaines. (…) Le souci des victimes a (…) unifié le monde. René Girard
L’existence d’Israël pose le problème du droit de vivre en sujets libre et souverains des nations non musulmanes dans l’aire musulmane. L’extermination des Arméniens, d’abord par l’empire ottoman, puis par le nouvel Etat turc a représenté la première répression d’une population dhimmie en quête d’indépendance nationale. Il n’y a quasiment plus de Juifs aujourd’hui dans le monde arabo-islamique et les chrétiens y sont en voie de disparition. Shmuel Trigano
Quand les synagogues se comportent comme des ambassades il n’est pas étonnant qu’elles subissent les mêmes attaques qu’une ambassade. Pierre Minnaert
Je ne vois pas comment on peut lutter contre la dérive antisémite de jeunes de banlieue quand les synagogues soutiennent Israël. Pierre Minaert
Moi je ne pousse à rien, je constate, et je constate aussi la hausse d’un discours anti juifs chez jeunes maghrébins qui s’explique. Pierre Minnaert ‏
 Quand les rabbins mettent Dieu dans un camp comment s’étonner qu’ils soient attaqués par l’autre ? Ils renforcent l’antisémitisme. Pierre Minnaert
Ils sont environ 7 000 à défiler dans les rues de Paris, ce dimanche 13 juillet, entre Barbès et la Bastille, pour dire leur solidarité avec les Palestiniens. Le parcours a été négocié par les responsables du NPA (Nouveau parti anticapitaliste), l’organisation héritière de la Ligue communiste révolutionnaire. Pourquoi avoir exigé un parcours qui s’achève à proximité du quartier du Marais, connu pour abriter plusieurs lieux de culte juif ? Le fait est que les responsables de la Préfecture de police l’ont validé. Parmi les manifestants, de nombreuses femmes, souvent voilées, mais surtout des jeunes venus de la banlieue francilienne. Les premiers slogans ciblent Israël, mais aussi la "complicité française". Très vite, les « Allah Akbar » (Dieu est grand) dominent, donnant une tonalité fortement religieuse au cortège. La préfecture de police ne s’attendait pas à une telle mobilisation, mais ses responsables ont vu large au niveau du maintien de l’ordre, puisque cinq "forces mobiles", gendarmes et CRS confondues, ont été mobilisées. C’est à priori suffisant pour sécuriser tous les lieux juifs le long du parcours. Aucune dégradation, aucun incident n’est signalé en marge du cortège, jusqu’à l’arrivée à proximité de la Bastille. Un premier mouvement de foule est observé à la hauteur de la rue des Tournelles, qui abrite une synagogue. Les gendarmes bloquent la voie et parviennent sans difficulté à refouler les assaillants vers le boulevard Beaumarchais. Place de la Bastille, la dispersion commence, accélérée par une ondée, lorsque des jeunes décident de s’en prendre aux forces de l’ordre. De petites grappes s’engouffrent vers les rues adjacentes. Se donnent-ils le mot ? Ils sont entre 200 et 300 à marcher en direction de la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette… où se tient un rassemblement pour la paix en Israël, en présence du grand rabbin. Les organisateurs affirment avoir alerté le commissariat de police, mais l’information n’est apparemment pas remontée jusqu’à la Préfecture de police. Détail important : s’ils avaient su, les responsables du maintien de l’ordre auraient forcément barré l’accès à la rue. Les choses se compliquent très vite, car les manifestants ne sont pas les seuls à vouloir en découdre. Une petite centaine de membres de la LDJ (ligue de défense juive) sont positionnés devant la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette, casques de moto sur la tête et outils (armes blanches) à portée de main. Loin de rester passive, la petite troupe monte au contact des manifestants, comme ils l’ont déjà fait lors d’une manifestation pro-palestinienne organisée Place Saint-Michel quelques jours auparavant. On frôle la bagarre générale, mais la police parvient à s’interposer. Les assaillants refluent vers le boulevard, tandis que les militants juifs reviennent vers la synagogue. Frédéric Ploquin
Une équipe qui a su non seulement séduire au-delà des frontières, mais donner à l’Allemagne une autre image d’elle-même : multiculturelle, ouverte et aimée à l’étranger. Sur les 23 joueurs de la sélection de Joachim Löw, onze sont d’origine étrangère. Outre le trio d’origine polonaise (Piotr Trochowski, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski), qui depuis longtemps n’est plus considéré comme exotique, évoluent sur le terrain Marko Marin, Jérôme Boateng, Dennis Aogo, Sami Khedira ou encore deux joueurs d’origine turque : Serdar Tasci et le jeune prodige Mesut Özil. Tous les observateurs, en Allemagne, s’accordent à reconnaître que cette arrivée de nouveaux talents "venus d’ailleurs" fait beaucoup de bien à l’équipe. "Cela lui donne une aptitude à l’engagement, une envie de reconnaissance, vis-à-vis d’eux-mêmes mais également vis-à-vis des autres", déclarait le ministre de l’intérieur Thomas de Maizière à la Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Pour Bastian Schweinsteiger, talentueux milieu de terrain, "les diverses influences vivifient l’équipe, elles lui donnent un tout autre tempérament". Une diversité qui fait également beaucoup de bien au pays. A Kreuzberg, le quartier de Berlin où vit la plus importante communauté turque du pays, on défend depuis le début du mondial les couleurs de la Mannschaft. "Les performances des jeunes donnent à notre travail un élan énorme", se réjouit Gül Keskinler, une Turque chargée de l’intégration à la Fédération allemande de football. "L’exemple de Mesut Özil est à cet égard particulièrement important, souligne-t-elle. Les footballeurs ont, à travers leur fonction d’exemple, un rôle très fort, ils sont des ambassadeurs pour la jeunesse." Dans les rues de Berlin, pas de célébration pourtant d’un esprit de fraternité "black blanc beur" tel qu’avait pu le connaître la France après sa victoire au Mondial de 1998. Pour beaucoup d’Allemands, le maillot est rassembleur : peu importe l’origine des joueurs, à la première victoire ils ont été adoptés sans cérémonie. La diversité n’est qu’un élément parmi d’autres dans l’impression de renouveau que donne l’équipe d’Allemagne. "La diversité montre surtout que l’Allemagne va enfin chercher son inspiration ailleurs, estime Holger Cesnat, 35 ans. Le style de l’équipe a changé, il est plus léger, parce que Joachim Löw observe le football pratiqué au-delà des frontières et a rompu avec le style qui prédominait dans le football allemand jusqu’ici." Le Monde
Cela a commencé en 2006, c’était la première fois qu’on osait être fier de son pays, fier de son équipe, cela a libéré beaucoup de choses. Rainer Stich
C’est la première fois que l’équipe est si appréciée à l’étranger. Même en Israël on trouve la Mannschaft sympathique. C’est un sentiment auquel nous ne sommes pas habitués. Emilie Parker
 Cette idée de la France ‘black blanc beur’, c’est quelque chose qui les a beaucoup marqués pour révolutionner leur football. Jean-Jacques Bourdin (RMC)
La danse des Gauchos était de mauvais goût (…) Subitement, la modestie allemande a disparu dans le triomphe. Tagesspiegel (quotidien berlinois)
Plusieurs médias allemands critiquaient mercredi la «Nationalmannschaft» championne du monde pour avoir interprété lors des célébrations du titre mardi à Berlin une danse moquant les adversaires argentins vaincus en finale (1-0 a.p.). Mimant des Argentins courbés, comme par le désespoir et le poids de la défaite, six joueurs de l’équipe ont chanté : «ainsi marchent les Gauchos, les Gauchos marchent ainsi». Puis se relevant bien droits et fiers, ils ont continué : «Ainsi marchent les Allemands, les Allemands marchent ainsi». Ils ont répété la séquence plusieurs fois sous les applaudissements, dans un pays où toute expression ostentatoire de fierté nationale reste sujet à controverse. Libération
Maybe to explain what they sing. They sing: "So gehen die Gauchos, die Gauchos die gehen so. So gehen die Deutschen, die Deutschen die gehen so." ("That’s how the Gauchos walk, the Gauchos walk like this. That’s how the Germans walk, the Germans walk like this.") And it’s important to note that this song is a very common song in Germany for teasing the team that has lost the match. So they didn’t make an entirely new song up by themselves. Reddit
Israël existe et continuera à exister jusqu’à ce que l’islam l’abroge comme il a abrogé ce qui l’a précédé. Hasan al-Bannâ (préambule de la charte du Hamas, 1988)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique est un mouvement palestinien spécifique qui fait allégeance à Allah et à sa voie, l’islam. Il lutte pour hisser la bannière de l’islam sur chaque pouce de la Palestine. Charte du Hamas (Article six)
Nous avons constaté que le sport était la religion moderne du monde occidental. Nous savions que les publics anglais et américain assis devant leur poste de télévision ne regarderaient pas un programme exposant le sort des Palestiniens s’il y avait une manifestation sportive sur une autre chaîne. Nous avons donc décidé de nous servir des Jeux olympiques, cérémonie la plus sacrée de cette religion, pour obliger le monde à faire attention à nous. Nous avons offert des sacrifices humains à vos dieux du sport et de la télévision et ils ont répondu à nos prières. Terroriste palestinien (Jeux olympiques de Munich, 1972)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Cela prouve le caractère de notre noble peuple, combattant du djihad, qui défend ses droits et ses demeures le torse nu, avec son sang. La politique d’un peuple qui affronte les avions israéliens la poitrine nue, pour protéger ses habitations, s’est révélée efficace contre l’occupation. Cette politique reflète la nature de notre peuple brave et courageux. Nous, au Hamas, appelons notre peuple à adopter cette politique, pour protéger les maisons palestiniennes. Sami Abu Zuhri (porte-parole du Hamas)
I didn’t actually know that the picture was recycled. I guess I just used it as an illustration – people don’t need to take it as a literal account. If you think of bombs going off that’s pretty much what it looks like.. Twitteuse britannique (16 ans)
Il est interdit de tuer, blesser ou capturer un adversaire en recourant à la perfidie. Constituent une perfidie les actes faisant appel, avec l’intention de la tromper, à la bonne foi d’un adversaire pour lui faire croire qu’il a le droit de recevoir ou l’obligation d’accorder la protection prévue par les règles du droit international applicable dans les conflits armés. Les actes suivants sont des exemples de perfidie : (…) c) feindre d’avoir le statut de civil ou de non-combattant; d) feindre d’avoir un statut protégé en utilisant des signes emblèmes ou uniformes des Nations Unies (…) Protocole additionnel aux Conventions de Genève de 1949 relatif à la protection des victimes des conflits armés internationaux, I, article 37, alinéa 1, 1977)
Sont interdits les actes ou menaces de violence dont le but principal est de répandre la terreur parmi la population civile. (…) Les personnes civiles jouissent de la protection accordée par la présente Section, sauf si elles participent directement aux hostilités et pendant la durée de cette participation. Protocole additionnel aux Conventions de Genève de 1949 (I, art. 51, al. 2 & 3)
See, the Hamas and the other terrorist groups like Islamic Jihad are firing from Gaza when their rocketeers and their command posts are embedded in homes, hospitals, next to kindergartens, mosques. And so we are trying to operate, to target them surgically, but the difference between us is that we’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles. So naturally they’re responsible for all the civilian deaths that occur accidentally. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Lors d’une inspection, l’agence pour l’aide aux réfugiés palestiniens (UNRWA) a trouvé "environ 20 roquettes cachées" dans une école vide située dans la bande de Gaza, un "premier" incident du genre. L’Express
If 80 rockets would be fired upon the citizens of Great Britain, No way I wouldn’t be taking action. If an Israeli prime minister would fail to take action, people would say that this is unacceptable. Tony Blair
Depuis le début de l’opération, au moins 35 bâtiments résidentiels auraient été visés et détruits, entraînant dans la majorité des pertes civiles enregistrées jusqu’à présent, y compris une attaque le 8 Juillet à Khan Younis qui a tué sept civils, dont trois enfants, et blessé 25 autres. Dans la plupart des cas, avant les attaques, les habitants ont été avertis de quitter, que ce soit via des appels téléphoniques de l’armée d’Israël ou par des tirs de missiles d’avertissement. Rapport ONU (09.07.14)
Selon bon nombre de ses détracteurs, Israël serait en train de massacrer des civils à Gaza. Pour un membre arabe du parlement israélien, son armée «élimine délibérément des familles entières». Pour Mahmoud Abbas, président de l’Autorité palestinienne, Israël est en train de commettre un «génocide –le meurtre de familles entières». Et selon l’Iran, il s’agit de «massacres contre des Palestiniens sans défense». De telles accusations sont fausses. Selon les standards de la guerre, les efforts que déploie Israël pour épargner les civils sont exemplaires. Ce combat n’a pas été décidé par Israël. Selon le Hamas et le Djihad Islamique, les deux organisations terroristes qui contrôlent Gaza, Israël aurait provoqué ces hostilités en arrêtant en Cisjordanie des membres du Hamas. Mais des arrestations sur un territoire ne justifient pas des bombardements aériens sur un autre. Israël ne s’en est pris à Gaza qu’après le tir de plus de 150 roquettes sur son territoire et le refus par les terroristes d’un cessez-le-feu. Plusieurs images publiées ces derniers jours et censées prouver le carnage des bombes israéliennes sont des faux, empruntés à d’autres guerres. Mercredi après-midi, le bilan humain oscillait entre 30 et 50 personnes, voire davantage, une fourchette dépendant du moment choisi pour marquer le début de ce conflit. La moindre mort est tragique, et plus les hostilités dureront, plus le bilan s’alourdira. Pour autant, en sachant qu’Israël a lancé plus de 500 raids aériens, vous pouvez en tirer deux conclusions. La première, c’est que l’armée israélienne est misérablement nulle pour tuer des gens. La seconde, et la plus plausible, c’est qu’elle fait au contraire tout son possible pour ne pas en tuer. Le ministre israélien de la Défense a admis que ses offensives avaient ciblé des «domiciles de terroristes», mais aussi des «armes, des infrastructures terroristes, des systèmes de commandements, des institutions du Hamas [et] des bâtiments officiels». Les logements étaient ceux de chefs militaires du Hamas. Selon les dires d’un officiel israélien, «au Hamas, le moindre petit commandant de brigade n’a désormais plus de maison où rentrer chez lui». En termes légaux, Israël justifie ces attaques en affirmant que ces maisons étaient des «centres de commandement terroristes», impliqués dans des tirs de roquette et autres «activités terroristes». Mais si Israël a parfois tenté (et réussi) de tuer des leaders du Hamas dans leurs voitures, son armée a toujours évité de se prendre sans sommation à leurs maisons. La dernière fois qu’Israël a tiré sur des bâtiments civils à Gaza, voici un an et demi, ses habitants ont été au préalable prévenus par téléphone ou par le parachutage de tracts pour qu’ils quittent les lieux. L’armée israélienne se sert aussi de fusées éclairantes ou de mortiers à faibles charges explosives (la consigne dite du «toquer au toit») pour signaler la survenue de bombardements. (…) Le bilan civil le plus grave –sept morts, selon les informations les plus récentes– est survenu dans le bombardement d’une maison située dans la ville de Khan Younès et appartenant à un leader terroriste. Pour le Hamas, il s’agit d’un «massacre contre des femmes et des enfants». Mais selon des voisins, la famille a été prévenue à la fois par téléphone et par un tir de mortier léger sur le toit. Selon un membre des services de sécurité israéliens, les forces israéliennes ont attendu que la famille quitte le bâtiment pour tirer leur missile. Il ne comprend pas pourquoi des membres de cette famille, avec visiblement certains de leurs voisins, sont retournés à l’intérieur. Pour des personnes vivant sur place, c’est parce qu’ils ont voulu «former un bouclier humain». (…) Difficile, très difficile à dire. Mais, dans ce conflit, quiconque se préoccupe des civils tués délibérément devrait d’abord se tourner vers le Hamas. Les tirs de roquettes de Gaza vers Israël ont commencé bien avant l’offensive israélienne sur Gaza. Au départ, les roquettes sont une idée du Djihad Islamique. Mais, ces derniers jours, le Hamas ne s’est pas fait prier pour la reprendre, et a revendiqué plusieurs tirs de missiles, tombés entre autres sur Tel Aviv, Jérusalem et Haïfa. William Saletan (Slate)
Trente pour cent des 172 Palestiniens qui ont perdu la vie ces sept derniers jours et nuits dans la bande de Gaza sont des femmes et des enfants, selon l’agence de presse allemande (DPA). Cette dernière s’est basée sur une liste des victimes fournie par le ministère de la Santé à Gaza. Au total des sept journées d’offensives contre Gaza, ce sont 29 femmes qui ont péri, dont sept étaient âgées de moins de 18 ans. On retrouve également parmi les victimes 24 hommes de moins de 18 ans. Environ la moitié sont de jeunes garçons âgés de dix ans ou moins, le plus jeune est un bébé âgé de 18 mois. Il n’est pas immédiatement possible de vérifier combien de civils se trouvent parmi les 119 hommes tués. Deux d’entre eux étaient âgés de 75 et 80 ans. Libre Belgique
Il est 15 h 20 à Gaza, mercredi 16 juillet, quand une terrible déflagration ébranle le front de mer. Quelques minutes plus tard, une seconde frappe retentit. Touchée par ce qui semble être un obus tiré d’un navire israélien, une bicoque de pêcheurs, construite sur la digue du port de pêche, est réduite en un tas de parpaings éclatés et de tôles noircies. A côté des décombres, les corps en partie calcinés de quatre garçons de la même famille, Mohammad, Ahed, Zakariya et Ismail. Ils avaient entre 9 et 11 ans. Les enfants Bakr jouaient sur la plage depuis quelques heures. Certains avaient apporté un ballon, d’autres pêchaient ou grattaient le sable à la recherche de morceaux de métal à revendre. Après la première frappe millimétrée sur la cabane, il semble que les enfants, blessés, aient été pris sciemment pour cible alors qu’ils remontaient la plage pour se mettre à l’abri. A quelques mètres de la cahute, Mohammad Abou Watfah a assisté au carnage : «Les enfants étaient paniqués, ils se sont mis à courir vers la plage. Un deuxième obus les a suivis. Il est tombé à quelques mètres et j’ai perdu connaissance», raconte péniblement le commerçant, touché à l’estomac par des éclats. Le corps ensanglanté, hors d’haleine, des enfants blessés parviennent à la terrasse d’un établissement du bord de mer, alors que résonne l’explosion d’un troisième obus. (…) Dans le service de chirurgie, Tagred, une autre mère du clan Bakr, veille sur son fils, Ahmad, 13 ans, touché à la poitrine par des éclats d’obus: «Ce ne sont que des enfants. Ils ne faisaient rien de mal contre les Israéliens, pleure d’incompréhension la mère palestinienne. Mon fils jouait simplement avec ses cousins et maintenant ils sont tous morts.» «Comment peut-on tirer sur des enfants qui courent ?» L’armée israélienne a annoncé, dans la soirée, qu’elle enquêtait «consciencieusement» pour déterminer les circonstances exactes de la mort des quatre enfants. Expliquant que les frappes visaient, en principe, des membres du Hamas, Tsahal n’a pas exclu la possibilité d’une «erreur» dans cette attaque, dont l’étendue sera de toute évidence difficile à justifier. Le Monde
Mercredi, sous les yeux des journalistes occidentaux, quatre enfants palestiniens ont été tués sur une plage de Gaza après un tir ou une explosion. Immédiatement, les médias occidentaux attribuent leur mort à deux navires de guerre de l’armée israélienne situés au large de la plage. Le 9 juin 2006, sur cette même plage, huit personnes (dont trois enfants) d’une même famille avaient été tuées, et plus de trente autres civils furent blessés par une explosion dont l’origine a été attribuée à l’armée israélienne par les médias occidentaux. Or, après enquête de l’armée israélienne il s’est avéré que l’explosion sur la plage n’a pas pu être provoquée par la marine israélienne car il s’est écoulé 10 minutes entre le dernier tir d’obus et le drame. Les éclats de projectiles qui ont été retirés des corps des personnes blessées ne correspondent à aucune des armes en circulation dans l’armée israélienne. D’autre part, les services de renseignement israéliens et égyptiens sont arrivés à la conclusion que la famille a été victime d’une mine installée par les artificiers du Hamas la semaine précédente, afin d’empêcher les commandos marines israéliens de débarquer sur la côte et d’intercepter ses lanceurs de roquettes. Dans les deux cas, et dans de nombreux autres cas, comme dans celui de l’affaire Al-Dura, il est intéressant de souligner la présence au même moment, d’équipes de télévisions filmant en direct ce qui semble être un non-événement, et qualifié après par les médias de « massacre ». Le Monde juif
So far, 194 Palestinians been killed during Operation Protective Edge; that’s already a higher death toll than that of the entire 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. Or at least that’s what’s reported in the press, internationally but also in Israel. The truth is that the number of casualties, and the percentage of civilians among the dead, comes exclusively from Palestinian sources. Israel only publishes its version of the body count — which is always significantly lower than the Palestinian account — weeks after such operations end. Meanwhile, the damage to Israel’s reputation is done. During Pillar of Defense, 160 Palestinians were killed, 55 “militants” and 105 civilians, according to Palestinian sources. According to the IDF, 177 Palestinians were killed during the weeklong campaign — about 120 of whom were enemy combatants. A report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center says 101 of those killed were terrorists, while 68 were noncombatants. B’Tselem claims 62 combatants and 87 civilians died. And yet, the figures from the Gazan ministry are routinely adopted, unquestioned, by the United Nations. Times of Israel
Hamas and affiliate militant factions out of the Gaza Strip are so far rejecting an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire, having launched far more than 100 rockets since the cease-fire proposal. In exposing Israel’s inability to stem the rocket flow, Hamas is trying to claim a symbolic victory over Israel. Hamas’ spin aside, the military reality paints a very different picture.
Nonstate actors such as Hamas and many of its peer organizations, of course, need some ability to exert force if they are to influence the actions of a state whose imperatives run counter to their own. The Gaza Strip is small and its resource base is limited, reducing the options for force. This makes cheap asymmetric tactics and strategies ideal. For Gaza and its militants, terrorizing the Israeli population through limited force often has previously influenced, constrained or forced the hand of the Israeli government and its subsequent policies. It accomplished this with assassinations, ambushes or suicide bombings targeting security forces or Israeli citizens. A confluence of events later led to a gradual evolution in the conflict. By 2006, the security wall that surrounds and contains the Gaza Strip had eliminated militants’ ability to directly engage the Israeli populace and security personnel, and Israel Defense Forces had completely withdrawn from the territory. Meanwhile, Hezbollah had demonstrated the effectiveness of relatively cheap artillery rockets volleyed into Israel in a high enough volume to seriously disrupt the daily life of Israeli life. While artillery rockets were not new to Gaza, the conditions were ripe for this tactic’s adoption. The intent was to build up a substantial arsenal of the weapons and increase their range to threaten Israel’s entire population as much as possible. (Increased range was also needed to overcome Israel’s growing defensive capabilities.) This would be the asymmetric threat that could be used to project force, albeit limited force, from Gaza. (…) Much of this cyclical nature is because both sides are operating under serious limitations, preventing either from gaining "victory" or some form of permanent resolution. For Israel there are two main limitations. The first is the intelligence gaps created by monitoring from the outside and having no permanent presence on the ground. The Israelis have been unable to stop the rockets from getting into Gaza, cannot be sure where they are exactly and can only degrade the ability to launch with airstrikes and naval strikes. This leads to the second constraint, which is the cost associated with overcoming this gap by doing a serious and comprehensive clearing of the entire strip. Though Operation Cast Lead did have a ground component, it was limited and did not enter the major urban areas or serious tunnel networks within them. This is exactly where many of the resources associated with the rocket threat reside. The intense urban operation that would result if Israeli forces entered those areas would have a huge cost in casualties for Israeli personnel and for civilians, the latter resulting in intense international and domestic pressure being brought to bear against the Israeli government. For decision-makers, the consequences of sitting back and absorbing rocket attacks versus trying to comprehensively accomplish the military objective of eliminating this capability keep weighing on the side of managing the problem from a distance. But the longer the conflict lasts, the more complications the militants in Gaza face as they see their threat of force erode with time. Adversaries adapt to tactics, and in this case Israel Defense Forces have steadily improved their ability to mitigate the disruptive ability of these attacks through a combination of responsive air power and Iron Dome batteries that effectively provide protection to urban populations. Subsequently, the terror and disruption visited upon the Israeli population diminishes slightly, and the pressures on the government lessen. So militants seem to be in a position to maintain their tool, but that tool is becoming less effective and imposing fewer costs. This raises the question of what new tactic or capability the militants will adopt next to exert new costs on Israel. Many surmise the incident that started this latest round — the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank — might become the tactic of choice if it proves effective in accomplishing its goals and is repeatable. The militants will also almost certainly attempt to refine their projectiles’ accuracy and range through the acquisition of more advanced rockets or even missiles. What is certain regarding the latest round of fighting is that we are far from seeing victory or any form of conclusion and that the conflict will continue to evolve. Stratfor
After Algeria gained its independence, according to its 1963 Nationality Code, it authorized citizenship only to Muslims. It extended citizenship only to those individuals whose fathers and paternal grandfathers were personally Muslim.  All but 6,500 of the country’s 140,000 Jews were essentially driven into exile by this change. Some 130,000 took advantage of their French citizenship and moved to France along with the pied-noirs, settlers of French ancestry. Moroccan Jews who were living in Algeria and Jews from the M’zab Valley in the Algerian Sahara, who did not have French citizenship, as well as a small number of Algerian Jews from Constantine, emigrated to Israel at that time. After Houari Boumediene came to power in 1965, Jews were persecuted in Algeria, facing social and political discrimination and heavy taxes. In 1967-68 the government seized all but one of the country’s synagogues and converted them to mosques. By 1969, fewer than 1,000 Jews were still living in Algeria. Only 50 Jews remained in Algeria in the 1990s. Wikipedia
À la suite des accords d’Évian en mars 1962, les départs sont massifs. Le contexte du conflit israélo-arabe va contribuer à envenimer les relations entre les Musulmans et les Juifs d’Algérie dans les années qui vont suivre. L’indépendance de l’Algérie est proclamée le 5 juillet 1962, et en octobre, on ne compte plus que 25 000 Juifs en Algérie dont 6000 à Alger. En 1971, il n’en reste plus qu’un millier117. En 1975, la Grande synagogue d’Oran, comme toutes les autres, est transformée en mosquée. À l’instar de nombreux cimetières chrétiens, beaucoup de cimetières juifs sont profanés. En 1982, on compte encore environ 200 Juifs, la guerre civile algérienne des années 1990 provoque le départ des derniers membres de la communauté. Le dossier juif reste un sujet tabou car les Juifs résidant dans le pays n’ont pas de personnalités connues, mis à part quelques conseillers ayant travaillé avec le ministre algérien du commerce Ghazi Hidoussi, à cause de la sensibilité du dossier et de son lien avec Israël. Certains partis, notamment nationalistes et islamistes, comme le Mouvement de la renaissance islamique, réagissent violemment à l’accréditation du Lions Clubs et du Rotary Club qu’ils présument d’obédience sioniste et franc-maçonne ainsi qu’à la poignée de main du président algérien Abdelaziz Bouteflika et du premier ministre israélien Ehud Barak, lors des funérailles du roi Hassan II au Maroc en juillet 1999. En 1999, Abdelaziz Bouteflika rend un hommage appuyé aux Juifs constantinois, à l’occasion du 2500e anniversaire de cette ville. En 2000, la tournée qu’Enrico Macias doit effectuer sur sa terre natale est annulée à la suite de pressions internes et malgré l’invitation officielle de la présidence. En mars 2003, un plan d’action avait été mis en place par les autorités françaises et algériennes, pour que les cimetières juifs retrouvent leur dignité et ce, selon un programme établi annuellement. Le projet reste cependant lettre morte dans des dizaines de cimetières communaux dans lesquels existent des carrés juifs. En 2005, deux évènements marquent l’actualité : la tenue d’un colloque des Juifs de Constantine à Jérusalem provoquant une rumeur selon laquelle ils auraient fait une demande d’indemnisation auprès du gouvernement de l’Algérie, à la suite de leur départ en 1962. Cette information sera démentie par les autorités d’Alger et la visite à Tlemcen de 130 Juifs originaires de cette ville, fait sans précédent depuis l’indépendance, est vécue dans l’émotion tant du côté des Juifs Algériens que de celui des Musulmans Algériens[réf. nécessaire]. En décembre 2007, Enrico Macias bien qu’invité par le président français Sarkozy, à l’accompagner en visite officielle en Algérie, il doit renoncer face à l’hostilité et au refus du ministre algérien des Anciens Combattants. En 2009, l’État algérien accrédite un organisme représentant la religion hébraïque en Algérie, présidé par Roger Saïd. On recense 25 synagogues, abandonnées pour la plupart, les Juifs d’Algérie ayant peur d’organiser des cérémonies de culte pour des raisons sécuritaires. Cet organisme devra également agir, en coordination avec le ministère des affaires religieuses sur l’état des tombes juives, particulièrement à Constantine, Blida et Tlemcen[réf. nécessaire]. En janvier 2010, le dernier Juif vivant en Oranie décède à l’hôpital civil d’Oran. En août 2012, le représentant de la communauté juive en Algérie, maitre Roger Saïd chargé de veiller sur les intérêts judéo-algériens décède à Paris. Wikipedia
Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees from the aftermath of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and the 1967 Six Day War, little is said about the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to flee from Arab states before and after the creation of Israel. In fact, these refugees were largely forgotten because they were assimilated into their new homes, most in Israel, and neither the United Nations nor any other international agency took up their cause or demanded restitution for the property and money taken from them. In 1945, roughly 1 million Jews lived peacefully in the various Arab states of the Middle East, many of them in communities that had existed for thousands of years. After the Arabs rejected the United Nations decision to partition Palestine and create a Jewish state, however, the Jews of the Arab lands became targets of their own governments’ anti-Zionist fervor. As Egypt’s delegate to the UN in 1947 chillingly told the General Assembly: “The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries will be jeopardized by partition.” The dire warning quickly became the brutal reality. Throughout 1947 and 1948, Jews in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen (Aden) were persecuted, their property and belongings were confiscated, and they were subjected to severe anti-Jewish riots instigated by the governments. In Iraq, Zionism was made a capital crime. In Syria, anti-Jewish pogroms erupted in Aleppo and the government froze all Jewish bank accounts. In Egypt, bombs were detonated in the Jewish quarter, killing dozens. In Algeria, anti-Jewish decrees were swiftly instituted and in Yemen, bloody pogroms led to the death of nearly 100 Jews. Jewish virtual library

Attention: des réfugiés peuvent en cacher d’autres !

A l’heure où, entre boucliers humains et photos et chiffres trafiqués, le martyre du peuple palestinien fait à nouveau la une de nos journaux

Et que nos chères têtes blondes en profitent pour crier "mort aux juifs" à tous les coins de rue et préférentiellement devant les nouvelles ambassades que sont devenues – dixit un responsable écologiste français –  les synagogues

Pendant que 70 ans après l’abomination nazie outre-rhin, l’équipe de la diversité que tout le monde attendait se voit crucifier par sa propre presse pour avoir fêté leur victoire en Coupe du monde en chambrant comme c’est l‘habitude dans leur pays leurs adversaires qualifiés pour l’occasion de gauchos …

Et que, de l’autre côté de la Méditerrannée, on tente de "rejudaïser" un pays qui, entre exil forcé, synagogues transformées en mosquées ou désaffectées et carrés juifs profanés,  avait réussi en un peu plus de 60 ans à effacer 2 000 ans et 90% de sa présence juive   …

Retour sur ces réfugiés dont on ne parle jamais …

A savoir, entre l’extermination des chrétiens arméniens, assyriens ou grecs de Turquie et l’actuel nettoyage ethnique des mêmes chrétiens du reste du Monde musulman, ces quelque 900 000 juifs ethniquement épurés du Monde arabe …

Fact Sheet:
Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

(Updated January 2013)


Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees from the aftermath of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and the 1967 Six Day War, little is said about the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to flee from Arab states before and after the creation of Israel. In fact, these refugees were largely forgotten because they were assimilated into their new homes, most in Israel, and neither the United Nations nor any other international agency took up their cause or demanded restitution for the property and money taken from them.

Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews flee during Operation Magic Carpet

In 1945, roughly 1 million Jews lived peacefully in the various Arab states of the Middle East, many of them in communities that had existed for thousands of years. After the Arabs rejected the United Nations decision to partition Palestine and create a Jewish state, however, the Jews of the Arab lands became targets of their own governments’ anti-Zionist fervor. As Egypt’s delegate to the UN in 1947 chillingly told the General Assembly: “The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries will be jeopardized by partition.” The dire warning quickly became the brutal reality.

Throughout 1947 and 1948, Jews in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen (Aden) were persecuted, their property and belongings were confiscated, and they were subjected to severe anti-Jewish riots instigated by the governments. In Iraq, Zionism was made a capital crime. In Syria, anti-Jewish pogroms erupted in Aleppo and the government froze all Jewish bank accounts. In Egypt, bombs were detonated in the Jewish quarter, killing dozens. In Algeria, anti-Jewish decrees were swiftly instituted and in Yemen, bloody pogroms led to the death of nearly 100 Jews.

In January 1948, the president of the World Jewish Congress, Dr. Stephen Wise, appealed to U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall: “Between 800,000 and a million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, exclusive of Palestine, are in ‘the greatest danger of destruction’ at the hands of Moslems being incited to holy war over the Partition of Palestine … Acts of violence already perpetrated, together with those contemplated, being clearly aimed at the total destruction of the Jews, constitute genocide, which under the resolutions of the General Assembly is a crime against humanity." In May 1948, the New York Times echoed Wise’s appeal, and ran an article headlined, "Jews in Grave Danger in all Muslim Lands: Nine Hundred Thousand in Africa and Asia face wrath of their foes."

With their lives in danger and the situation growing ever more perilous, the Jews of the Arab World fled their homes as refugees.

Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees between 1948 and 1972, more than 200,000 found refuge in Europe and North America while 586,000 were resettled in Israel – at great expense to the Israeli government, and without any compensation from the Arab governments who had confiscated their possessions. The majority of the Jewish refugees left their homes penniless and destitute and with nothing more than the shirts on their backs. These Jews, however, had no desire to be repatriated in the Arab World and little is heard about them because they did not remain refugees for long.

In Israel, a newly independent country that was still facing existential threats to its survival, the influx of immigrants nearly doubled the population and a put a great strain on an economy struggling to just meet the needs of its existing population.  The Jewish State, however, never considered turning away the refugees and, over the years, worked to absorb them into society.

Iraqi Jews
Iraqi Jews flee as refugees to Israel

Overall, the number of Jews fleeing Arab countries for Israel in the years following Israel’s independence was nearly double the number of Arabs leaving Palestine. The contrast between the Jewish refugees and the Palestinian refugees grows even starker considering the difference in cultural and geographic dislocation – most of the Jewish refugees traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to a tiny country whose inhabitants spoke a different language and lived with a vastly different culture. Most Palestinian refugees traveled but a few miles to the other side of the 1949 armistice lines while remaining inside a linguistically, culturally and ethnically similar society.

Moreover, the value of Jewish property left behind and confiscated by the Arab governments is estimated to be at least 50 percent higher than the total value of assets lost by the Palestinian refugees.  In the 1950’s, John Measham Berncastle, under the aegis of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, estimated that total assets lost by Palestinian refugees from 1948 – including land, buildings, movable property, and frozen bank accounts – amounted to roughly $350 million ($650 per refugee). Adding in an additional $100 million for assets lost by Palestinian refugees as a result of the Six Day War, an approximate total is $450 million – $4.4 billion in 2012 prices. By contrast, the value of assets lost by the Jewish refugees – compiled by a similar methodology – is estimated at $700 million – roughly $6.7 billion today.

To date, more than 100 UN resolutions have been passed referring explicitly to the fate of the Palestinian refugees. Not one has specifically addressed Jewish refugees. Additionally, the United Nations created a organization, UNRWA, to solely handle Palestinian refugees while all other refugees are handled collectively by UNHRC. The UN even defines Palestinian refugees differently than every other refugee population, setting distinctions that have allowed their numbers to grow exponentially so that nearly 5 million are now considered refugees despite the fact that the number estimated to have fled their homes is only approximately 400-700,000.

Today, nearly half of Israel’s native population descends from the Jewish refugees of the Arab world and their rights must be recognized alongside any discussion of the rights for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. In Israel, the issue of the Jewish refugees has been of preeminent importance during all peace negotiations with the Palestinians, including the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2000 Camp David summit.  Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Israel is now calling on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to hold a summit specifically the issue of the Jewish refugees.

In the United States, led by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, efforts are also being made to ensure the world recognizes the plight of these Jewish refugees.  In July 2012, Nadler led a bipartisan group of six congressmen in sponsoring H.R. 6242, legislation that would require the President to submit a regular report to Congress on actions taken relating to the resolution of the Jewish refugee issue. Nadler’s latest effort comes more than four years after he successfully passed H.R. 185, a non-binding resolution asking the President to ensure that explicit reference is made to the Jewish refugees in any international forum discussing Middle East or Palestinian refugees.

Use the resource below to learn more about
the Jewish Refugees from the Arab World:

AlgeriaEgyptIraqLibyaMoroccoSyriaTunisiaYemen (Aden)

Jews in the Arab World
1948
1958
1968
1978
2011
Algeria
140,000
130,000
1,500
1,000
1,500
Egypt
75,000
40,000
1,000
400
100
Iraq
135,000
6,000
2,500
350
7
Libya
38,000
3,750
100
40
0
Morocco
265,000
200,000
50,000
18,000
4,000
Syria
30,000
5,000
4,000
4,500
100
Tunisia
105,000
80,000
10,000
7,000
1,500
Yemen/Aden
63,000
4,300
500
500
250
Total
851,000
469,060
69,600
31,790
~7,500

Algeria

Jews in 1948: 140,000. Jews in 2011: 1,500.

Jewish settlement in Algeria can be traced back to the first centuries of the Common Era. In the 14th century, with the deterioration of conditions in Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to Algeria, among them a number of outstanding scholars including Rav Yitzchak ben Sheshet Perfet (the Ribash) and Rav Shimon ben Zemah Duran (the Rashbatz). After the French occupation of the country in 1830, Jews gradually adopted French culture and were granted French citizenship.

On the eve of WWII, there were around 120,000 Jews in Algeria. In 1934, incited by events in Nazi Germany, Muslims rampaged in Constantine, killing 25 Jews and injuring many more. Starting in 1940, under Vichy rule, Algerian Jews were persecuted socially and economically. In 1948, at the time of Israel’s independence and on the eve of the Algerian Civil War, there were approximately 140,000 Jews living in Algeria, of whom roughly 30,000 lived in the capital.

Nearly all of the Algerian Jews fled the country shortly after it gained independence from France in 1962. The newly established Algerian government harassed the Jewish community, confiscated Jewish property, and deprived Jews of their principle economic rights. As a result, almost 130,000 Algerian Jews immigrated to France and, since 1948, 25,681 Algerian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

According to the State Department, there is now fewer than 2,000 Jews in Algeria and there are no functioning synagogues in the country.

EGYPT

Jews in 1948: 75,000. Jews in 2011: 100.

Jews have lived in Egypt since Biblical times. Israelite tribes first moved to the land of Goshen, the northeastern edge of the Nile Delta, during the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep IV (1375-1358 BCE). By 1897, there were more than 25,000 Jews in Egypt, concentrated in Cairo and Alexandria.

The first Nationality Code was promulgated by Egypt in May 1926 and said that only those "who belonged racially to the majority of the population of a country whose language is Arabic or whose religion is Islam" were entitle to Egyptian nationality. This provision served as the official pretext for expelling many Jews from Egypt.

In 1937, the Jewish population was 63,500 but by 1945, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the cultivation of anti-Jewish sentiment, violence erupted against the peaceful Jewish community. That year, 10 Jews were killed, more than 300 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were destroyed. In July 1947, an amendment to Egyptian law stipulated that companies must employ a minimum of 90% Egyptian nationals. This decree resulted in the loss of livelihood for many Jews.

Israel’s establishment led to further anti-Jewish sentiments. Between June and November 1948, bombs set off in the Jewish Quarter of Cairo killed more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200, while another 2,000 Jews were arrested and had their property confiscated. Rioting over the following months resulted in more Jewish deaths. In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000  Jews and confiscating their property while approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps. In November 1956, a government proclamation declared that "all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state," and promised that they would be soon expelled. Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country, allowed to take only one suitcase, a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations "donating" their property to the Egyptian government.

By 1957 the Jewish population had fallen to 15,000 and in 1967, after the Six-Day War, there was a renewed wave of persecution and the community dwindled to 2,500. By the 1970’s, after the remaining Jews were given permission to leave the country, the number of Jews feel to just a few hundred. Today, the community is on the verge of extinction with fewer than 100 Jews remaining in Egypt, the majority elderly.

IRAQ

Jews in 1948: 135,000. Jews in 2011: 7.

Jews have lived in modern-day Iraq since before the common era and prospered in what was then called Babylonia until the Muslim conquest in 634 AD. Under Muslim rule, the situation of the Jewish community fluctuated yet at the same time, Jews were subjected to special taxes and restrictions on their professional activity. Under British rule, which began in 1917, Jews fared well economically, but this changed when Iraq gained independence.

In June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad. Armed mobs, with the complicity of the police and the army, murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000. Although emigration was prohibited, many Jews made their way to Mandate Palestine with the aid of an underground movement.

Additional outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting occurred between 1946 and 1949, and following the establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism was made a capital crime. In 1950, the Iraqi parliament legalized emigration to Israel, provided that Iraqi Jews forfeited their citizenship before leaving. Between May 1950 and August 1951, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government succeeded in airlifting approximately 110,000 Jews to Israel in Operation Ezra & Nehemiah. At the same time, 20,000 Jews were smuggled out of Iraq through Iran. A year later the property of Jews who emigrated from Iraq was frozen, and economic restrictions were placed on Jews who remained in the country.

In 1952, Iraq’s government barred Jews from emigrating, and publicly hanged two Jews after falsely charging them with hurling a bomb at the Baghdad office of the U.S. Information Agency. A community that had reached a peak of 150,000 in 1947, dwindled to a mere 6,000 after 1951. Persecutions continued, especially after the Six Day War in 1967, when 3,000 Jews were arrested, dismissed from their jobs, and some hanged in the public square of Baghdad. In one instance, on January 27, 1969, Baghdad Radio called upon Iraqis to “come and enjoy the feast” and some 500,000 people paraded and danced past the scaffolds where the bodies of the hanged Jews swung; the mob rhythmically chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to all traitors.”

As of 2008, the Jewish Agency for Israel estimated that there were only seven Jews remaining in Iraq while Baghdad’s Meir Tweig synagogue, the last synagogue in use, was closed in 2003 after it became too dangerous to gather openly. The State Department reported in 2011 that anti-Semitism is still widespread in both state-owned and private media outlets and Holocaust denial is often glorified.

LIBYA

Jews in 1948: 38,000. Jews in 2011: 0.

The Jewish community of Libya traces its origin back some 2,500 years to the time of Hellenistic rule under Ptolemy Lagos in 323 B.C.E. in Cyrene. Once home to a very large and thriving Jewish community, Libya is now completely empty of Jews due to anti-Jewish pogroms that spurred immigration to Israel.

At the time of the Italian occupation in 1911, there were approximately 21,000 Jews in the country, the majority in the capital Tripoli. By the late 1930s, fascist anti-Jewish laws were gradually being enforced and the Jewish community was subject to terrible repression. Yet, in 1941, the Jews still accounted for a quarter of Tripoli’s population and maintained 44 synagogues.

In 1942, the Germans occupied the Jewish quarter of Benghazi, plundered shops, and deported more than 2,000 Jews across the desert, where more than one-fifth of them perished. Many Jews from Tripoli were also sent to forced labor camps.

Conditions did not greatly improve following liberation and under the British occupation there were a series of brutal pogroms. One savage pogrom occurred in Tripoli on November 5, 1945, when more than 140 Jews were massacred and almost every synagogue in the city was looted. In June 1948, rioters murdered another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. When the British legalized emigration in 1949, more than 30,000 Jews fled Libya.

Thousands more Jews fled to Israel after Libya became independent in 1951 and was granted membership in the Arab League. A law passed in December 1958 ordered for the dissolution of the Jewish Community Council. In 1961, a special permit was needed to show proof of being a "true Libyan" and all but six Jews were denied this document.

After the Six-Day War, the Jewish population – numbering roughly 7,000 – was again subjected to pogroms in which 18 people were killed and many more injured; the riots also sparked a near-total exodus from the Jewish community, leaving fewer than 100 Jews in Libya. When Muammar Gaddafi came to power in 1969, all Jewish property was confiscated and all debts to Jews cancelled. Although emigration was illegal, more than 3,000 Jews succeeded in leaving for Israel.

By 1974, there were no more than 20 Jews in the country, and it is believed that Esmeralda Meghnagi, who died in February 2002, was the last Jew to live in Libya.  In October 2011, protests in Tripoli called for the deportation of a Jewish activist who had returned to Libya with the intent of restoring Tripoli’s synagogue. Some protesters’ signs read, “There is no place for the Jews in Libya,” and “We don’t have a place for Zionism.”

MOROCCO

Jews in 1948: 265,000. Jews in 2011: 4,000.

Jews have been living in Morocco since the time of Antiquity, traveling there two millennia ago with Phoenician traders, and the first substantial Jewish settlements developed in 586 BCE after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Jews.

Prior to World War II, the Jewish population of Morocco reached its height of approximately 265,000, and though Nazi deportations did not occur the Jewish community still suffered great humiliation under the Vichy French government. Following the war, the situation became even more perilous.

In June 1948, bloody riots in Oujda and Djerada killed 44 Jews while wounding scores more. That same year, an unofficial economic boycott was instigated against the Moroccan Jewish community. By 1959 Zionist activities were made illegal and in 1963, at least 100,000 Moroccan Jews were forced out from their homes. Nearly 150,000 Jews sought refuge in Israel, France and the Americas.

In 1965, Moroccan writer Said Ghallab described the attitude of Moroccan Muslims toward their Jewish neighbors when he wrote:

"The worst insult that a Moroccan could possibly offer was to treat someone as a Jew … The massacres of the Jews by Hitler are exalted ecstatically. It is even credited that Hitler is not dead, but alive and well, and his arrival is awaited to deliver the Arabs from Israel."

In early 2004, Marrakech had a small Jewish population of about 260 people, most over the age of 60, while Casablanca had the largest community, about 3,000 people. There are still synagogues in use today in CasablancaFez, Marrakech, Mogador, Rabat, Tetuan and Tangier.

The Jewish community now numbers between 4,000 and 5,500 and while the government is one of the most friendly towards Israel, the Jewish community is still the target of sporadic violence. On a Saturday in May 2003, for example, a series of suicide bombers attacked four Jewish targets in Casablanca, though fortunately no Jews were killed.  In a show of kindness, the government subsequently organized a large rally in the streets of Casablanca to demonstrate support for the Jewish community and the king reasserted his family’s traditional protection for the country’s Jews.

SYRIA

Jews in 1948: 30,000. Jews in 2011: 100.

Jews had lived in Syria since biblical times and the Jewish population increased significantly after the Spanish expulsion in 1492. Throughout the generations, the main Jewish communities were to be found in Damascus and Aleppo.

By 1943, the Jewish community of Syria had approximately 30,000 members but In 1944, after Syria gained independence from France, the new Arab government prohibited Jewish immigration to Palestine, severely restricted the teaching of Hebrew in Jewish schools, called boycotts against Jewish businesses, and sat idle as attacks against Jews escalated. In 1945, in an attempt to thwart international efforts to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the Syrian government fully restricted Jewish emigration, burned, looted and confiscated Jewish property, and froze Jewish bank accounts.

When partition was declared in 1947, Arab mobs in Aleppo devastated the 2,500-year-old Jewish community and left it in ruins. Scores of Jews were killed and more than 200 homes, shops and synagogues were destroyed. Thousands of Jews illegally fled as refugees, 10,000 going to the United States and 5,000 to Israel.  All of their property were taken over by the local Muslims.

Over the next few decades, those Syrian Jews that remained were in effect hostages of a hostile regime as the government intensified its persecution of the Jewish population. Jews were stripped of their citizenship and experienced employment discrimination. They had their assets frozen and property confiscated. The community lived under constant surveillance by the secret police. Freedom of movement was also severely restricted and any Jew who attempted to flee faced either the death penalty or imprisonment at hard labor. Jews could not acquire telephones or driver’s licenses and were barred from buying property. An airport road was paved over the Jewish cemetery in Damascus; Jewish schools were closed and handed over to Muslims.

The last Jews to leave Syria departed with the chief rabbi in October 1994. By the middle of 2001, Rabbi Huder Shahada Kabariti estimated that 150 Jews were living in Damascus, 30 in Haleb and 20 in Kamashili. while two synagogues remained open in Damascus. According to the US State Department, there were about 100 Jews left in country as 2011, concentrated in Damascus and Aleppo.  Contact between the Syrian Jewish community is Israel is prohibited.

TUNISIA

Jews in 1948: 105,000. Jews in 2011: 1,500.

The first documented evidence of Jews living in Tunisia dates back to 200 CE. By 1948, the Tunisian Jewish community had numbered 105,000, with 65,000 living in the capital Tunis.

Tunisia was the only Arab country to come under direct German occupation during World War II and, according to Robert Satloff, “From November 1942 to May 1943, the Germans … implemented a forced-labor regime, confiscations of property, hostage-taking, mass extortion, deportations, and executions. They required thousands of Jews in the countryside to wear the Star of David.”

When Tunisia gained independence in 1956, the new government passed a series of discriminatory anti-Jewish decrees. In 1957, the rabbinical tribunal was abolished and a year later the Jewish community councils were dissolved.  The government also destroyed ancient synagogues, cemeteries, and even Tunis’ Jewish quarter for "urban renewal" projects.

During the Six-Day War, Jews were attacked by rioting Arab mobs, while businesses were burned and the Great Synagogue of Tunis was destroyed. The government actually denounced the violence and appealed to the Jewish population to stay, but did not bar them from leaving.

The increasingly unstable situation caused more than 40,000 Tunisian Jews to immigrate to Israel and at least 7,000 more to France. By 1968, the country’s Jewish population had shrunk to around 10,000.

Today, the US State Department estimates that there are 1,500 Jews remaining in Tunisia, with one-third living in and around the capital and the remainder living on the island of Djerba.  The Tunisian government now provides the Jewish community freedom of worship and also provided security and renovation subsidies for the synagogues.

YEMEN (Aden)

Jews in 1948: 63,000. Jews in 2011: 250.

The first historical record of Jews in Yemen is from the third century CE.

In 1922, the government of Yemen reintroduced an ancient Islamic law decreeing that Jewish orphans under age 12 were to be converted to Islam.

In 1947, after the partition vote on Palestine, the police forces joined Muslim rioters in a bloody pogrom in Aden, killing 82 Jews and destroying hundreds of Jewish homes. The pogrom left Aden’s Jewish community economically paralyzed, as most of the stores and businesses were destroyed.

Early in 1948, looting occurred after six Jews were falsely accused of murdering two Arab girls and the government began to forcefully evict the Jews. Between June 1949 and September 1950, Israel ran Operation "Magic Carpet" and brought virtually the entire Yemenite Jewish community – almost 50,000 people – to Israel as refugees.

In 1959, another 3,000 Jews from Aden emigrated to Israel while many more fled as refugees to the US and England. A smaller, continuous migration was allowed to continue into 1962, when a civil war put an abrupt halt to any further Jewish exodus.

Today, there are no Jews in Aden and there are an estimated 250 Jews in Yemen. The Jews are the only indigenous non-Muslim religious minority and the small community that remains in the northern area of Yemen is tolerated and allowed to practice Judaism. However, the community is still treated as second-class citizens and cannot serve in the army or be elected to political positions. Jews are traditionally restricted to living in one section of a city and are often confined to a limited choice of employment.


Sources: Aharon Mor & Orly Rahimiyan, "The Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands," Jerusalem Center for Public Opinion, (September 11, 2012).
"Compensate Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries, Conference Urges," JTA, (September 10, 2012).
Kershner, Isabel. “The Other Refugees.“ Jerusalem Report, (January 12, 20/04).
Littman, David. “The Forgotten Refugees: An Exchange of Population.“ The National Review, (December 3, 2002).
Matas, David, Urman, Stanley A. “Jews From Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress.“ Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, (June 23, 2003).
Sachar, Howard. A History of Israel. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, 2000.
Stillman, Norman. The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times. The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1991.
“Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine – 30th Meeting,” United Nations Press Release GA/PAL/84, (November 24, 1947).
Arieh Avneri, The Claim of Dispossesion, (NJ: Transaction Books, 1984), p. 276.
Jerusalem Post, (December 4, 2003).
Stephen Farrell, "Baghdad Jews Have Become a Fearful Few," New York Times, (June 1, 2008).
US State Department – Religious Freedom Reports (2011); Human Rights Reports (2011)
Roumani, Maurice. The Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue. WOJAC, 1983
American Jewish Yearbook: 1958, 1969, 1970, 1978, 1988, 2001. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America
American Sephardi Federation
"Point of no return: Information and links about the Middle East’s forgotten Jewish refugees"
Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)
Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (HARIF)
"Israel Pushing for UN Summit on Jewish Refugees," The Algemeiner, (August 27, 2012).
Hillel Fendel, "US Congress Recognizes Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands," Arutz Sheva, (February 4, 2008).
House Resolution 185 (110th), "Regarding the Creation of Refugee Populations in the Middle East," GovTrack.
House Resolution 6242 (112th), "Relating to the Resolution of the Issue of Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries," GovTrack.

Voir aussi:

Algérie: des salafistes contre les synagogues
RFI

En Algérie, une manifestation a réuni quelques dizaines de personnes dans un quartier populaire de la capitale. Les manifestants, des salafistes, veulent protester contre l’annonce officielle de la réouverture des synagogues dans le pays.

Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’Abdelfattah Hamadache, imam salafiste du quartier de Bellecourt, proche du Front islamique du salut (FIS), appelle à manifester. Il y a quelques semaines, c’était pour s’opposer au ministre du Commerce qui venait de donner plusieurs autorisations d’ouverture de magasins d’alcool.

Vendredi, plusieurs dizaines d’hommes ont manifesté contre la réouverture des synagogues, mesure annoncée par le ministre des Affaires religieuses. Ils considèrent que l’Algérie est musulmane et qu’il n’y a pas de place pour une autre religion.

Cette manifestation, rapidement bloquée par les forces de l’ordre, n’a surpris personne. Mais l’annonce du ministre, en revanche, a laissé certains observateurs sans voix. Chaque été, la police arrête certaines personnes sous prétexte qu’elles mangent en plein jour pendant le ramadan, le ministre affirmant que le respect du jeûne était une affaire personnelle.

Alors lorsqu’il affirme que les synagogues vont être ouvertes après 20 ans de fermeture pour des raisons de sécurité, la presse ne sait pas comment réagir. Si les journaux défendent pour la majorité la liberté de culte, difficile de savoir si la mesure sera vraiment appliquée. Les commentaires se multiplient sur les réseaux sociaux, mais les salafistes, eux, sont bien les premiers à rendre le débat public.

Contre la « judaïsation » de l’Algérie

En Algérie, la communauté juive est discrète, mais elle existe toujours. Les synagogues sont fermées pour des raisons de sécurité depuis que dans les années 1990, deux figures de cette communauté avaient été assassinées.

Les manifestants, qui ont dénoncé cette mesure comme « une provocation contre les musulmans en plein ramadan », disent vouloir s’opposer à la « judaïsation » de l’Algérie. Ils craignent que la réouverture des synagogues soit un premier pas vers une normalisation des relations de l’Algérie avec Israël.

Voir également:

Why doesn’t Israel publish figures and details of Gaza casualties?
The world relies on data from the Hamas-run health ministry, and there’s nothing we can do about that, officials in Jerusalem say
Raphael Ahren
The Times of Israel
July 15, 2014
Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

So far, 194 Palestinians been killed during Operation Protective Edge; that’s already a higher death toll than that of the entire 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. Or at least that’s what’s reported in the press, internationally but also in Israel. The truth is that the number of casualties, and the percentage of civilians among the dead, comes exclusively from Palestinian sources. Israel only publishes its version of the body count — which is always significantly lower than the Palestinian account — weeks after such operations end. Meanwhile, the damage to Israel’s reputation is done.

During Pillar of Defense, 160 Palestinians were killed, 55 “militants” and 105 civilians, according to Palestinian sources. According to the IDF, 177 Palestinians were killed during the weeklong campaign — about 120 of whom were enemy combatants. A report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center says 101 of those killed were terrorists, while 68 were noncombatants. B’Tselem claims 62 combatants and 87 civilians died.

Why the confusion, and what is the accurate body count for the current conflict?

For Operation Protective Edge, the only data published so far comes from the health ministry in Gaza. This ministry is run by Hamas, therefore rendering the number of casualties and injuries it reports more than unreliable, said Maj. Arye Shalicar of the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s unit. “Hamas has no shame about lying. We know they’re a terrorist organization that makes cynical use of casualty numbers for propaganda purposes. You can’t trust a single number they publish.”

And yet, the figures from the Gazan ministry are routinely adopted, unquestioned, by the United Nations. “According to preliminary information, over 77 per cent of the fatalities since 7 July have been civilians, raising concerns about respect for international humanitarian law,” states a situation report published Tuesday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Once given the stamp of approval of such an important body, these numbers are quoted everywhere else.

“All these publications are not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Reuven Erlich, the director of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. “They’re based mostly on Palestinian sources in Gaza, who have a vested interest in showing that we’re killing many civilians.”

His center spends considerable resources on researching the real number of casualties, publishing a daily report with information as reliable as can be obtained. On Monday, the center’s “initial and temporary data” suggested the distribution of those killed so far in Operation Protective Edge is as follows: of 157 Gazans who have died, 57 were terrorist operatives (29 from Hamas, 22 from Palestinian Islamic Jihad and six from other terrorist organizations); 76 were non-involved civilians; and 38 could not be identified.

“The numbers from Gaza’s Health Ministry are very general, they don’t explain who is a terrorist and who is a civilian,” Erlich said. “Knowing how many of the casualties were terrorists and how many were civilians requires very thorough work. You have to check every single name. Such an investigation takes time, and unfortunately every day new names are being added to the list.”

In order to ascertain who was killed and whether the victim is a terrorist or a civilian, the center’s staff looks up their names on Palestinian websites and searches for information about their funerals and for other hints that could shed light on a person’s background.

The authorities in Gaza generally count every young man who did not wear a uniform as a civilian — even if he was involved in terrorist activity and was therefore considered by the IDF a legitimate target, military sources said.

And yet, no official Israeli government body releases any information about casualties caused by Israeli airstrikes in real-time. We simply cannot know what we hit, several officials said. In the West Bank, IDF forces are able to ascertain who dies as a result of IDF actions, but since Israel has no military or civilian presence in Gaza, no information is available during or right after a strike. To be sure, the IDF does investigate claims about casualties, but results are usually only released weeks after the hostilities have ended. By then, the world, gauging Israel’s conduct in part on the basis of available information on civilian casualties, has turned its attention elsewhere.

After Israel’s 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead, many pro-Palestinian activists were outraged over the high number of innocent Palestinians killed. Palestinian sources, widely cited including by the UN, reported 1,444 casualties, of whom 314 were children. Israel, on the other hand, said that 1,166 Gazans were killed — 709 of them were “Hamas terror operatives”, 295 were “uninvolved Palestinians,” while the remaining 162 were “men that have not yet been attributed to any organization.” It put the number of children (under 16-years-old) killed at 89.

The international outrage over the operation played a role in the UN Human Rights Commission’s appointment of a panel to investigate “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed.” Headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, the panel authored the now-notorious “UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” also known as Goldstone report. It leveled heavy criticism against Israel, including the assertion that Israel set out deliberately to kill civilians, an allegation which Goldstone, though not his fellow commission members, later retracted.

How difficult it can be to ascertain who is being killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza is perhaps best illustrated by an incident from Operation Pillar of Defense, in which the infant son of a BBC employee was killed.

On November 14, 2012, 11-month-old Omar Jihad al-Mishrawi and Hiba Aadel Fadel al-Mishrawi, 19, died after what appeared to be an Israeli airstrike. The death of Omar, the son of BBC Arabic journalist Jihad al-Mishrawi, garnered more than usual media attention and focused anger for the death on Israel. Images of the bereaved father tearfully holding the corpse of his baby went around the world.
Jihad Mishrawi speaks to the media, while carrying the body of his son Omar, on November 15, 2012. (photo credit: screenshot BBC)

Jihad Mishrawi speaks to the media, while carrying the body of his son Omar, on November 15, 2012. (photo credit: screenshot BBC)

Only months later did a UN report clear Israel of the charge it had killed the baby, suggesting instead he was hit by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinians that was aimed at Israel, but missed its mark.

Given the difficulty of determining who exactly was killed by an airstrike in Gaza, Israeli authorities are focusing their public diplomacy efforts on other areas.

Rather than arguing about the exact number of Palestinians killed, and what percentage of them were civilians, officials dealing with hasbara (pro-Israel advocacy) try to engage the public opinion makers in a debate about asymmetrical warfare.

“Our work doesn’t focus on the number of casualties, but rather on Hamas’s methods, which are the sole reason for the fact that civilians are being hurt; and on our method, which is to do everything to avoid civilian casualties,” said Yarden Vatikai, the director of the National Information Directorate at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to hammer this point home every time he talks to a world leader or to the press. “See, the Hamas and the other terrorist groups like Islamic Jihad are firing from Gaza when their rocketeers and their command posts are embedded in homes, hospitals, next to kindergartens, mosques,” he said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And so we are trying to operate, to target them surgically, but the difference between us is that we’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles. So naturally they’re responsible for all the civilian deaths that occur accidentally.”

Numbers matter, and although it’s tough to explain the many civilian casualties caused by Israeli air raids, there is nothing the IDF can do about it, officials insist. It’s simply impossible to establish an independent body count while the hostilities are ongoing, admitted a senior official in the government’s hasbara apparatus. “It’s a challenge. But even if you said: No, only 40 or 50 percent of those killed were civilian, and not 70 — would that change anything in the world’s opinion?”

The numbers game is not an arena in which Israel can win, the official said. “When it comes to arguments over the actual justice of our campaign, I think we can win. When it comes to numbers, though, we cannot win. Because first of all, we don’t really have the ability to count the casualties, and secondly, because most people don’t really care that it was, say, only 50 percent and not 60.”

If the UN or other groups want to investigate possible war crimes or the high number of casualties after Operation Protective Edge, Jerusalem will deal with it then, the official said. Even if Israel were to publish its body count at the same time as the Gazan health ministry, it would not prevent a second Goldstone report, he added. “The people involved in these kinds of reports are not interested in the exact numbers. If they want to attack Israel they will do it regardless of the true number of casualties. They have their narrative, and nothing is going to change that.”

Voir encore:

L’Allemagne s’enflamme pour sa Mannschaft "black blanc beur"

Cécile Boutelet – Berlin, correspondance

Le Monde

07.07.2010

"Je ne veux pas forcément qu’ils deviennent champions du monde, je veux surtout qu’ils continuent à jouer." Pour cette Allemande de 39 ans, la demi-finale de la Coupe du monde qui opposera l’Espagne à l’Allemagne, mercredi, sera un rendez-vous de plus avec l’équipe qui lui semble la plus sympathique et la plus talentueuse du Mondial 2010. Une équipe qui a su non seulement séduire au-delà des frontières, mais donner à l’Allemagne une autre image d’elle-même : multiculturelle, ouverte et aimée à l’étranger.

Sur les 23 joueurs de la sélection de Joachim Löw, onze sont d’origine étrangère. Outre le trio d’origine polonaise (Piotr Trochowski, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski), qui depuis longtemps n’est plus considéré comme exotique, évoluent sur le terrain Marko Marin, Jérôme Boateng, Dennis Aogo, Sami Khedira ou encore deux joueurs d’origine turque : Serdar Tasci et le jeune prodige Mesut Özil.

Tous les observateurs, en Allemagne, s’accordent à reconnaître que cette arrivée de nouveaux talents "venus d’ailleurs" fait beaucoup de bien à l’équipe. "Cela lui donne une aptitude à l’engagement, une envie de reconnaissance, vis-à-vis d’eux-mêmes mais également vis-à-vis des autres", déclarait le ministre de l’intérieur Thomas de Maizière à la Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Pour Bastian Schweinsteiger, talentueux milieu de terrain, "les diverses influences vivifient l’équipe, elles lui donnent un tout autre tempérament".

Une diversité qui fait également beaucoup de bien au pays. A Kreuzberg, le quartier de Berlin où vit la plus importante communauté turque du pays, on défend depuis le début du mondial les couleurs de la Mannschaft. "Les performances des jeunes donnent à notre travail un élan énorme", se réjouit Gül Keskinler, une Turque chargée de l’intégration à la Fédération allemande de football. "L’exemple de Mesut Özil est à cet égard particulièrement important, souligne-t-elle. Les footballeurs ont, à travers leur fonction d’exemple, un rôle très fort, ils sont des ambassadeurs pour la jeunesse."

Dans les rues de Berlin, pas de célébration pourtant d’un esprit de fraternité "black blanc beur" tel qu’avait pu le connaître la France après sa victoire au Mondial de 1998. Pour beaucoup d’Allemands, le maillot est rassembleur : peu importe l’origine des joueurs, à la première victoire ils ont été adoptés sans cérémonie.

La diversité n’est qu’un élément parmi d’autres dans l’impression de renouveau que donne l’équipe d’Allemagne. "La diversité montre surtout que l’Allemagne va enfin chercher son inspiration ailleurs, estime Holger Cesnat, 35 ans. Le style de l’équipe a changé, il est plus léger, parce que Joachim Löw observe le football pratiqué au-delà des frontières et a rompu avec le style qui prédominait dans le football allemand jusqu’ici."

Pour Rainer Stich, 52 ans : "C’est quand même une vraie tendance à l’ouverture. On parie sur des jeunes, sur des joueurs d’origines diverses. Vingt ans après la réunification, le pays n’est plus concentré sur lui-même, sur sa propre réunification. Cela a commencé en 2006, c’était la première fois qu’on osait être fier de son pays, fier de son équipe, cela a libéré beaucoup de choses." Emilie Parker se félicite : "C’est la première fois que l’équipe est si appréciée à l’étranger. Même en Israël on trouve la Mannschaft sympathique. C’est un sentiment auquel nous ne sommes pas habitués."

La Mannschaft "new look", un baromètre de la diversité migratoire
Pierre Weiss
Le Nouvel Observateur
21-06-2014

Jusqu’à très récemment, la sélection allemande comptait peu ou pas de joueurs d’origine immigrée. Explications.

La présence massive de descendants d’immigrés dans l’effectif de la "Deutsche Nationalmannschaft" est un phénomène relativement récent. S’il ne s’apparente pas à une manifestation de rue ni à un scrutin politique, il peut à tout le moins être un révélateur ou un traducteur, intéressant à examiner à ce titre (1).

Formule associée à l’équipe de France championne du monde de football en 1998, le "Black-Blanc-Beur" s’est décliné en Allemagne, depuis le début des années 2000, sous la forme du "multikulti". Un simple regard sur la liste des 23 internationaux sélectionnés par l’entraîneur Joachim Löw à l’occasion du mondial brésilien suffit à identifier six noms trahissant une histoire sociale marquée par le processus "d’émigration-immigration" (2). Il s’agit des défenseurs Jérôme Boateng et Shkodran Mustafi, des milieux de terrain Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil et Lukas Podolski, ainsi que du buteur emblématique Miroslav Klose. A leur manière, ces joueurs cumulant plus de 380 matchs sous le maillot du "Nationalelf" sont un baromètre de la diversité migratoire de la société allemande. En ce sens, ils permettent de rappeler que cette dernière apparaît comme une société d’ancienne immigration (3), à l’instar de ses voisines française ou anglaise. Néanmoins, à la différence de la France, l’Allemagne a maintenu une forte immigration depuis le milieu des années 1990, entre autres pour compenser le vieillissement de sa population active.

En même temps, la composition ethnoculturelle de plus en plus diversifiée de la "Mannschaft" témoigne de signes d’une tangible transformation du mode de constitution de la nation allemande. Profitant de la réforme du Code de la nationalité en 2000 qui mit fin au seul droit du sang, l’Allemagne a en effet tourné la page et de l’équipe nationale et de la communauté des citoyens monochromatiques. Cette sélection de sportifs "new look" traduit enfin un mouvement de modernisation des instances dirigeantes du football allemand, dont l’origine se situe à la charnière du XXe et du XXIe siècles. Ainsi l’espace des joueurs issus de l’immigration est marqué par l’empreinte de la politique antidiscriminatoire menée par le "Deutscher Fußball-Bund" (DFB) et ses organisations-membres.

1 – Les "couleurs" de l’histoire

Depuis la Coupe du monde en 2002, les compositions successives de l’équipe allemande qui a participé aux phases finales du tournoi planétaire sont un bon révélateur de l’histoire des flux migratoires du pays, à l’exception des populations d’origine italienne, portugaise ou marocaine.

Les sportifs immigrés polonais ou enfants d’immigrés représentent le contingent le plus important. Ils sont au nombre de quatre : nés en Pologne, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski et Piotr Trochowski émigrent en Allemagne à la fin des années 1980 ; Tim Borowski, quant à lui, est né en RDA de parents polonais. Leur émigration – ou celle de leur famille – s’inscrit dans le contexte plus large des arrivées massives "d’Aussiedler" (des "réfugiés de souche allemande") entre 1950 et 1989 (4). N’ayant pratiquement pas d’équivalent dans d’autres pays occidentaux, cette forme de migration puise sa source dans les relations conflictuelles entre l’Etat et la "nation ethnique" en Allemagne, mais encore dans les changements politiques et territoriaux résultant des deux guerres mondiales et de la guerre froide.

Les footballeurs immigrés ghanéens ou descendants d’immigrés constituent le second groupe. Ils sont trois : né au Ghana, Gerald Asamoah émigre en Allemagne en 1990 ; concernant David Odonkor et Jérôme Boateng, ils sont nés en RFA et d’origine ghanéenne par leur père. Cette immigration d’Afrique de l’Ouest trouve notamment son explication dans l’histoire de l’empire colonial voulu par Bismarck. Protectorat allemand depuis 1884, le "Togoland" est partagé entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne suite au Traité de Versailles de 1919. En 1956, la partie anglaise de cette province jadis germanisée est rattachée à la République indépendante du Ghana et échappe à l’Etat indépendant du Togo en 1960 (5). Aussi est-il assez cohérent que l’Allemagne soit la destination privilégiée des membres des minorités germanophones implantées au Ghana.

Les joueurs enfants d’immigrés de Turquie se placent en troisième position. Ils sont au nombre de deux : nés outre-Rhin de parents turcs, Mesut Özil et Serdar Tasci incarnent la génération de la "Mannschaft" du mondial de 2010. Leurs ascendants ont émigré en RFA à l’occasion du "Wirtschaftswunder" d’après-guerre. Entre 1961 et 1973, le patronat allemand et les autorités fédérales ont en effet recruté des milliers de travailleurs immigrés originaires de Turquie pour occuper les emplois pénibles dont les nationaux ne voulaient pas, en particulier dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, de la construction et de l’automobile (6). Par la suite, cet ensemble d’ouvriers faiblement qualifiés est complété par une immigration familiale dans le cadre des regroupements primaire et secondaire.

2 – La diversification de la communauté des citoyens

La composition de l’équipe allemande des années 2000 affiche l’origine ethnoculturelle de plus en plus diversifiée des Allemands, et le soutien que ces derniers lui apportent, notamment depuis 2006 (7), informe du niveau de consensus rencontré par cette diversification. Le contraste est d’ailleurs saisissant entre cette équipe "multikulti" et la sélection unicolore du siècle dernier. Entre 1934 et 1998, la "Mannschaft" n’a par exemple accueilli qu’un seul joueur d’origine non germanique en la personne de Maurizio Gaudino, descendant d’immigré italien ayant pris part à la Coupe du monde en 1994 (8). Précisons toutefois que ce constat ne vaut que si l’on fait abstraction de la présence importante de footballeurs issus de l’immigration polonaise, mais en réalité "de souche allemande".

A l’inverse, entre 2002 et 2014, le "Nationalelf" a déjà comporté 15 sportifs d’origine non germanique, dont neuf binationaux : Asamoah, Klose, Podolski, Boateng, Cacau, Gomez, Khedira, Özil et Mustafi. D’un côté, l’hétérogénéité frappante de l’équipe des années 2000 témoigne d’une modification tangible du mode de constitution de la nation allemande. Pendant longtemps, le principe fondateur de cette dernière a reposé intégralement sur les liens du sang – "ethnos" (9). Créée par une idéologie "ethnicisante" distinguant ce qui n’est pas allemand au sens "ethnique" du terme, cette frontière institutionnelle explique à la fois l’homogénéité de l’équipe allemande du XXe siècle et l’intégration progressive des joueurs polonais d’ascendance germanique. Menée à son terme par la coalition "rouge-verte", avec le soutien des libéraux et des démocrates-chrétiens, la réforme du Code de la nationalité du 1er janvier 2000 a désormais introduit dans la législation des éléments du droit du sol. Ce dernier facilite la naturalisation des migrants et l’inclusion de leurs descendants. Il est fondé sur une conception de la citoyenneté mettant surtout l’accent sur l’individu au sens politique du terme – "demos". Nés en Allemagne de parents turcs, Mesut Özil et Serdar Tasci ont acquis la nationalité allemande par ce biais. Tous deux ont commencé à jouer en sélection U19, entre 2006 et 2007. Il existe donc un lien de causalité entre le Code de la nationalité et la taille du vivier de footballeurs disponibles pour le système de formation.

D’un autre côté, il faut prendre en compte les effets de l’assouplissement de la politique de nationalité sportive menée par la FIFA ; en particulier ceux du décret de 2009 autorisant un sportif professionnel à changer une fois d’équipe nationale, sans limite d’âge, à condition de n’avoir jamais porté le maillot de sa précédente sélection "A" en compétition. Le cas des frères Boateng est intéressant à scruter à ce titre. S’ils sont tous les deux nés à Berlin, l’un, Jérôme, évolue sous les couleurs de la "Mannschaft", tandis que l’autre, Kevin-Prince, a opté pour le pays de son père, le Ghana.
3 – La modernisation des instances du football allemand

La présence de joueurs de couleur et de sportifs aux patronymes à la consonance étrangère dans le "Nationalelf" traduit en dernier ressort la modernisation des instances dirigeantes du football allemand. A la suite de l’élimination prématurée de l’équipe nationale en quart de finale de la Coupe du monde en 1998, de nombreuses voix s’élevèrent, pour la première fois, contre le système de formation et la politique d’intégration des immigrés menée par le DFB. Parmi elles, on peut citer l’entraîneur du Bayern de Munich de l’époque, Ottmar Hitzfeld, qui déclara dans le "Spiegel" que sans les migrants et leurs descendants, l’Allemagne renonçait inconsidérément à plus de 50 % de la nouvelle génération de footballeurs de haut niveau, potentiellement sélectionnables en équipe nationale (10).

Le développement des attitudes racistes et xénophobes dans les ligues amateurs, les exclusions d’immigrés des clubs allemands et la recrudescence des associations mono-ethniques ont alors conduit les responsables du DFB à utiliser le football à la fois comme un outil de lutte contre la discrimination ethno-raciale et comme un vecteur de promotion de la diversité culturelle. L’arrivée en 2004 d’Oliver Bierhoff en tant que manager général de l’équipe d’Allemagne constitue une étape décisive dans ce processus. Ancien international, Bierhoff est diplômé en sciences économiques et en management de l’Université d’Hagen. Habitué à la rhétorique managériale et proche des milieux entrepreneuriaux, il introduit la thématique de la "diversité" au sein du DFB. Par son travail politique et son capital symbolique, cette notion venue des pays anglo-saxons devient une nouvelle catégorie de l’action sportive à destination des jeunes garçons issus de l’immigration et des classes populaires.

Profitant de l’organisation du Mondial de 2006 en Allemagne, le DFB, appuyé par les pouvoirs publics, lance des initiatives visant à favoriser la pratique du football chez les immigrés et leurs enfants. Cette impulsion donne par exemple naissance à des dispositifs socio-sportifs d’intégration des descendants d’immigrés des quartiers paupérisés des grandes métropoles. Quelle que soit son efficacité en matière de prévention et d’éducation, cette politique antidiscriminatoire est surtout une bonne manière de repérer puis d’inclure de nouveaux talents dans le système de formation du football national. A la Coupe du monde au Brésil, Shkodran Mustafi est là pour nous le rappeler !

La "Mannschaft" new look n’est pas un "miroir" de la société allemande et de ses évolutions. Tout au plus, elle peut en être un reflet déformant. En ce sens, nous avons (trop) rapidement tenté de montrer que les significations contenues dans les manifestations de la diversité migratoire auxquelles donne lieu le spectacle des joueurs du "Nationalelf" sont sans effet historique. Ces significations ne comportent aucune autonomie réelle ; au mieux, elles ne font que traduire un mouvement, sans jamais être en mesure de l’influencer. Autrement dit, dans ce cas précis, elles sont entièrement dépendantes des contextes historique, politico-juridique et socio-sportif. Pour les sciences sociales, le football national n’est finalement qu’une clé de compréhension des sociétés humaines et de leurs transformations (11).

(1) Voir Paul Yonnet, Systèmes des sports, Paris, Editions Gallimard, 1998.

(2) Nous empruntons cette expression au sociologue Abdelmalek Sayad. Cf. son ouvrage intitulé La double absence : des illusions de l’émigré aux souffrances de l’immigré, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1999.

(3) Rien qu?au cours des années 1950-1960, la RFA a par exemple recruté plus de trois millions de travailleurs étrangers suite à des accords conclus avec une série d?Etats : Italie, Espagne, Grèce, Turquie, Maroc, Portugal, Tunisie et Yougoslavie.

(4) 1 238 316 Aussiedler de Pologne se sont installés en Allemagne au cours de cette période. Voir Rainer Ohliger, « Une migration privilégiée. Les Aussiedler, Allemands et immigrés », Migrance, n° 17-18, 2000-2001, pp. 8-17.

(5) Voir Ulrike Schuerkens, Du Togo allemand aux Togo et Ghana indépendants, Paris, Editions L’Harmattan, 2001.

(6) Cf. Ulrich Herbert, Geschichte der Ausländerpolitik in Deutschland. Saisonarbeiter, Zwangsarbeiter, Gastarbeiter, Flüchtlinge, Munich, C. H. Beck, 2001.

(7) Albrecht Sonntag, « Un été noir-rouge-or », in C. Demesmay et H. Stark (éd.), Radioscopies de l’Allemagne 2007, Paris, IFRI Travaux et Recherches, 2007, pp. 19-39.

(8) Voir le site Internet suivant : http://www.dfb.de/index.php?id=11848

(9) Cf. Dominique Schnapper, L’Europe des immigrés : essai sur les politiques d’immigration, Paris, Editions F. Bourin, 1992.

(10) Sur ce point, voir Diethelm Blecking, « Le football allemand, une histoire d’identités multiples », Allemagne d’aujourd’hui, n° 193, 2010, pp. 93-101.

(11) Cf. Norbert Elias et Eric Dunning, Sport et civilisation. La violence maîtrisée, Paris, Editions Fayard, 1994.

Voir enfin:

Manif pro-palestinienne à Paris : deux synagogues prises pour cible

Frédéric Ploquin

Marianne

14 Juillet 2014

Plusieurs manifestations pro-palestiennes ont eu lieu dimanche 13 juillet en France. A Paris, deux synagogues ont été prises pour cible. Voici les faits.

Ils sont environ 7 000 à défiler dans les rues de Paris, ce dimanche 13 juillet, entre Barbès et la Bastille, pour dire leur solidarité avec les Palestiniens. Le parcours a été négocié par les responsables du NPA (Nouveau parti anticapitaliste), l’organisation héritière de la Ligue communiste révolutionnaire. Pourquoi avoir exigé un parcours qui s’achève à proximité du quartier du Marais, connu pour abriter plusieurs lieux de culte juif ? Le fait est que les responsables de la Préfecture de police l’ont validé.

Parmi les manifestants, de nombreuses femmes, souvent voilées, mais surtout des jeunes venus de la banlieue francilienne. Les premiers slogans ciblent Israël, mais aussi la "complicité française". Très vite, les « Allah Akbar » (Dieu est grand) dominent, donnant une tonalité fortement religieuse au cortège.
La préfecture de police ne s’attendait pas à une telle mobilisation, mais ses responsables ont vu large au niveau du maintien de l’ordre, puisque cinq "forces mobiles", gendarmes et CRS confondues, ont été mobilisées. C’est à priori suffisant pour sécuriser tous les lieux juifs le long du parcours.

Aucune dégradation, aucun incident n’est signalé en marge du cortège, jusqu’à l’arrivée à proximité de la Bastille. Un premier mouvement de foule est observé à la hauteur de la rue des Tournelles, qui abrite une synagogue. Les gendarmes bloquent la voie et parviennent sans difficulté à refouler les assaillants vers le boulevard Beaumarchais.

Place de la Bastille, la dispersion commence, accélérée par une ondée, lorsque des jeunes décident de s’en prendre aux forces de l’ordre. De petites grappes s’engouffrent vers les rues adjacentes. Se donnent-ils le mot ? Ils sont entre 200 et 300 à marcher en direction de la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette… où se tient un rassemblement pour la paix en Israël, en présence du grand rabbin. Les organisateurs affirment avoir alerté le commissariat de police, mais l’information n’est apparemment pas remontée jusqu’à la Préfecture de police. Détail important : s’ils avaient su, les responsables du maintien de l’ordre auraient forcément barré l’accès à la rue.

Les choses se compliquent très vite, car les manifestants ne sont pas les seuls à vouloir en découdre. Une petite centaine de membres de la LDJ (ligue de défense juive) sont positionnés devant la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette, casques de moto sur la tête et outils (armes blanches) à portée de main. Loin de rester passive, la petite troupe monte au contact des manifestants, comme ils l’ont déjà fait lors d’une manifestation pro-palestinienne organisée Place Saint-Michel quelques jours auparavant. On frôle la bagarre générale, mais la police parvient à s’interposer. Les assaillants refluent vers le boulevard, tandis que les militants juifs reviennent vers la synagogue.

Durant le week-end, des manifestations similaires ont été organisées dans plusieurs grandes villes. Selon la police, ils étaient 2 300 à Lille, 1 200 à Marseille et autour de 400 à Bordeaux. Aucun incident n’a été signalé.


Gaza: Avant, j’étais beaucoup plus critique à l’égard d’Israël (Pat Condell discovers the great Palestinian lie)

9 juillet, 2014

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Notre journaliste à Gaza confirme que les habitants sont utilisés comme boucliers humains. Richard C. Schneider
Le roi de Moab, voyant qu’il avait le dessous dans le combat, prit avec lui sept cents hommes tirant l’épée pour se frayer un passage jusqu’au roi d’Édom; mais ils ne purent pas. Il prit alors son fils premier-né, qui devait régner à sa place, et il l’offrit en holocauste sur la muraille. Et une grande indignation s’empara d’Israël, qui s’éloigna du roi de Moab et retourna dans son pays. 2 Rois 3: 26-27
J’ai une prémonition qui ne me quittera pas: ce qui adviendra d’Israël sera notre sort à tous. Si Israël devait périr, l’holocauste fondrait sur nous. Eric Hoffer
Nous avons constaté que le sport était la religion moderne du monde occidental. Nous savions que les publics anglais et américain assis devant leur poste de télévision ne regarderaient pas un programme exposant le sort des Palestiniens s’il y avait une manifestation sportive sur une autre chaîne. Nous avons donc décidé de nous servir des Jeux olympiques, cérémonie la plus sacrée de cette religion, pour obliger le monde à faire attention à nous. Nous avons offert des sacrifices humains à vos dieux du sport et de la télévision et ils ont répondu à nos prières. Terroriste palestinien (Jeux olympiques de Munich, 1972)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Cela prouve le caractère de notre noble peuple, combattant du djihad, qui défend ses droits et ses demeures le torse nu, avec son sang. La politique d’un peuple qui affronte les avions israéliens la poitrine nue, pour protéger ses habitations, s’est révélée efficace contre l’occupation. Cette politique reflète la nature de notre peuple brave et courageux. Nous, au Hamas, appelons notre peuple à adopter cette politique, pour protéger les maisons palestiniennes. Sami Abu Zuhri (porte-parole du Hamas)
L’occupation actuelle de la Cisjordanie par Israël est mal et conduit à une instabilité régionale et à une déshumanisation des Palestiniens (…) Israël fait face à une réalité indéniable : il ne peut pas maintenir un contrôle militaire sur un autre peuple indéfiniment. Faire ainsi est non seulement mal, mais c’est aussi une recette pour créer du ressentiment et une instabilité récurrente, a déclaré Gordon. Cela renforce les extrémistes de deux côtés, cela déchire la tissu démocratique israélien et nourrit une deshumanisation mutuelle. (…) Les Etats-Unis soutiendront toujours Israël. Nous combattons pour Israël tous les jours aux Nations Unies (…) Pourtant, en tant que meilleur ami et plus puissant soutien d’Israël, Washington doit pouvoir poser certaines questions fondamentales(…) Comment Israël restera-t-il démocratique et juif s’il essaie de gouverner les millions d’arabes palestiniens qui vivent en Cisjordanie ? Comment aura-t-il la paix s’il ne veut pas délimiter une frontière, mettre un terme à l’occupation et permettre une souveraineté, une sécurité et une dignité palestinienne ? Comment empêcherons nous d’autres états de soutenir les efforts palestiniens dans la communauté internationale, si Israël n’est pas perçu comme impliqué pour la paix ? (…) nous nous trouvons dans une situation délicate (…)  D’un côté, nous n’avons aucun intérêt à un jeu de critique. La difficile réalité est qu’aucune des parties n’a préparé leurs populations ou s’est montrée prête à prendre les décisions difficiles pour un accord. La confiance s’est effritée des deux côtés. Jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit restaurée, aucune des deux parties ne sera probablement prête à prendre des risques pour la paix, même s’ils vivent avec les terribles conséquences qui résultent de cette absence (…) Les « dernières semaines » montrent que l’incapacité de résoudre le conflit israélo-palestinien « implique inévitablement plus de tensions, plus de ressentiment, plus d’injustice, plus d’insécurité, plus de tragédie et plus de peine (…) La vue de familles en deuil, aussi bien israélienne que palestinienne, nous rappelle que le coût du conflit demeure insupportablement haut. (…)  Israël ne devrait pas prendre pour acquis la possibilité de négocier une telle paix avec Abbas qui a montré a plusieurs reprises qu’il était impliqué pour la non violence, la coexistence et la coopération avec Israël. (…)  Les Etats-Unis condamnent fermement ces attaques. (…) Aucun pays ne devrait vivre sous la menace constante d’une violence hasardeuse contre des civils innocents », a rappelé Gordon, dont l’administration avait été fortement critiquée par le gouvernement israélien pour avoir accepté de travailler rapidement avec le nouveau gouvernement d’unité soutenu par le Hamas qui avait été établi le mois dernier. L’administration soutient le droit d’Israël à se défendre contre ces attaques (…)  En même temps, nous apprécions l’appel du Premier ministre Netanyahu à agir responsablement, et nous appelons à notre tour les deux parties à faire tout ce qu’elles peuvent pour ramener le calme et protéger les civils. Philip Gordon (assistant spécial du président américain Barack Obama et coordinateur de la Maison Blanche pour le Moyen-Orient)
Le peuple palestinien n’existe pas. La création d’un État palestinien n’est qu’un moyen pour continuer la lutte contre l’Etat d’Israël afin de créer l’unité arabe. En réalité, aujourd’hui, il n’y a aucune différence entre les Jordaniens, les Palestiniens, les Syriens et les Libanais. C’est uniquement pour des raisons politiques et tactiques, que nous parlons aujourd’hui de l’existence d’un peuple palestinien, étant donné que les intérêts arabes demandent que nous établissions l’existence d’un peuple palestinien distinct, afin d’opposer le sionisme. Pour des raisons tactiques, la Jordanie qui est un Etat souverain avec des frontières bien définies, ne peut pas présenter de demande sur Haifa et Jaffa, tandis qu’en tant que palestinien, je peux sans aucun doute réclamer Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheba et Jérusalem. Toutefois, le moment où nous réclamerons notre droit sur l’ensemble de la Palestine, nous n’attendrons pas même une minute pour unir la Palestine à la Jordanie.  Zahir Muhsein (membre du comité exécutif de l’OLP, proche de la Syrie, "Trouw", 31.03. 77)
La libération de la Palestine a pour but de “purifier” le pays de toute présence sioniste. (…) Le partage de la Palestine en 1947 et la création de l’État d’Israël sont des événements nuls et non avenus. (…) La Charte ne peut être amendée que par une majorité des deux tiers de tous les membres du Conseil national de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine réunis en session extraordinaire convoquée à cet effet. Charte de l’OLP (articles 15, 19 et 33, 1964)
Je mentirais si je vous disais que je vais l’abroger. Personne ne peut le faire. Yasser Arafat (Harvard, octobre 1995)
Des tonnes d’explosifs, de roquettes, de lance-grenades, de grenades, de fusils d’assaut et des missiles anti-chars (…) ont été stockés dans des maisons de civils, des mosquées, des écoles et même des hôpitaux. (…) le Hamas a utilisé les larges espaces ouverts des mosquées pour stocker des armes, ce qui est interdit par le droit international et a ainsi transformé ces zones urbaines en zones de combat. L’utilisation de femmes, personnes âgées et enfants fait partie intégrante de la stratégie terroriste du Hamas. Des écoles ont été piégées, mettant la vie des enfants en danger. Des écoles et des centres d’éducation ont été transformés en sites de lancement de roquettes et de mortiers. (…) les terroristes du Hamas ont placé des rampes de lancement de roquettes à proximité de bâtiments publics tels que des centres médicaux, terrains de football, les bureaux de l’Association palestinienne pour la réhabilitation des handicapés et des stations d’essence (…) Le Hamas a délibérément construit ses infrastructures terroristes et militaires au coeur des infrastructures civiles. IDF
Les tactiques de combat et l’idéologie du Hamas sont, "par excellence, un cas d’école" de violations systématiques du droit international humanitaire. Il n’y a "presqu’aucun exemple comparable" où que ce soit dans le monde d’aujourd’hui d’un groupe qui viole aussi systématiquement les accords internationaux liés aux conflits armés. Irwin Cotler (ancien Ministre de la Justice du Canada, membre du parlement de ce pays et professeur de droit à l’Université McGill de Montreal)
L’Institut américain Pew a interrogé plus de 14 200 personnes dans 14 pays, dont le Nigeria, en proie aux attaques de Boko Haram. La peur d’un extrémisme islamiste grandit dans les pays majoritairement musulmans du Proche-Orient jusqu’en Asie du Sud, selon un sondage publié mardi aux Etats-Unis. Cette crainte s’est développée depuis un an, du fait de la guerre en Syrie qui continue de faire rage et à laquelle participent des mouvements islamistes, et des attaques meurtrières du mouvement nigérian Boko Haram, relève l’institut américain Pew qui a interrogé plus de 14 200 personnes dans 14 pays musulmans. Les mouvements islamistes comme Al-Qaeda, le Hezbollah, Boko Haram ou le Hamas, perdent aussi des soutiens. Et le nombre de personnes favorables aux attentats suicide contre des civils a considérablement diminué ces dix dernières années. Le sondage a été réalisé du 10 avril au 25 mai, soit avant l’offensive fulgurante lancée le 9 juin de l’Etat islamique en Irak et en Levant (EIIL), qui se fait appeler Etat islamique (EI), dans le nord et le centre de l’Irak. (…) Une majorité de Palestiniens (53%) ont une opinion défavorable du Hamas, qu’Israël tient pour responsable de l’enlèvement et du meurtre de trois adolescents. Ce chiffre atteint 63% dans la bande de Gaza. Seuls 46% des Palestiniens considèrent les attentats suicide comme justifiés contre des civils, contre 70% en 2007. Libération
Au sujet de l’islam (…) D’abord, j’aime bien leur symbole, leur croissant lunaire, je le trouve beaucoup plus beau que la croix, peut-être parce qu’il n’a pas quelqu’un cloué dessus.  Pat Condell (cité par Harold Kroto, prix Nobel de chimie 1996)
Des trois dogmes des enfants d’Abraham, les musulmans, les chrétiens et les juifs, mes préférés sont les juifs. Quand je dis je les aime: je pense que toutes les religions sont une insulte à l’humanité, mais les juifs n’ont pas autant de revendications et de recherche de privilèges que les deux autres dogmes. Et, plus important, tandis que les musulmans et chrétiens veulent vous imposer leurs croyances, les juifs se fichent pas mal de ce que vous croyez tant que vous les laissez tranquilles. (…) Maintenant, étant donné l’histoire des juifs, il est facile de comprendre pourquoi ils voudraient avoir leur Etat autonome. Mais le problème, c’est qu’il est au mauvais endroit. Parce que s’il y avait vraiment une justice dans ce monde, Israël occuperait actuellement la moitié de l’Allemagne. Mais ce qu’il y a derrière Israël, ce n’est pas la justice, c’est Jérusalem, autrement dit la Bible et autrement dit la prophétie, autrement dit, comme on le sait, la folie. What about the Jews?
Avant, j’étais beaucoup plus critique à l’égard d’Israël et je croyais qu’il y avait une solution à deux états assez simple. Parce que je croyais que les Arabes étaient de bonne foi. J’aimerais toujours le croire mais les faits me montrent que je serais un imbécile de le croire. Car j’ai vu que chaque concession faite par Israël ne reçoit en réponse que toujours plus d’exigences et de prétextes pour ne pas négocier. Ils auraient pu avoir la paix dix fois s’ils avaient voulu. Mais ils ne veulent pas la paix, ils veulent la victoire et ne seront pas satisfaits tant qu’Israël ne sera pas rayé de la carte. Un membre du Comité central de l’OLP l’a dit récemment à la télévision récemment, ajoutant qu’ils doivent garder ça pour eux car ils tiennent un autre discours au reste du monde. (…) Malgré ce que vous dit l’Agence de relations publiques palestinienne (cad les médias occidentaux) ce n’est pas une question de territoire et ça n’a absolument rien à voir avec la justice ou les droits de l’homme parce que les sociétés arabes ne connaissent pas la signification de ces mots. C’est une question de haine contre les Juifs, commandée par le Coran, prêchée dans les mosquées et enseignée aux enfants dans les pays arabes jour après jour et qui empoisonne génération après génération. les Arabes ne détestent pas les Juifs à cause d’Israël, ils détestent Israël à cause des Juifs. La situation en Cisjordanie et à Gaza existe parce qu’il y a 45 ans plusieurs pays arabes ont attaqué Israël délibérément, avec un avantage numérique écrasant, parce que c’était un Etat juif. Si ça n’avait pas été un Etat juif, ils ne l’auraient pas attaqué, ils l’ont attaqué avec l’intention de l’effacer de la carte et de commettre un génocide mais ils ont échoué parce que les juifs avaient plus de sang dans les veines que les Arabes pensaient. Et qui pourraient s’en étonner après tout ce par quoi ils sont passés dans l’indifférence du reste du monde ? Beaucoup, de Juifs auraient pu échapper aux nazis s’ils avaient eu un endroit où se réfugier mais les autres pays ne voulaient pas d’eux. Le Moufti de Jérusalem à l’époque était un ami d’Hitler et, en bon musulman, il approuvait la Solution finale et avait des plans pour mettre en oeuvre son propre holocauste au Moyen-Orient après la victoire des Nazis. Aussi qui pourrait reprocher aujourd’hui aux Israéliens de se défendre, en sachant très bien qu’ils ont à faire à des gens à qui ils ne peuvent pas faire confiance et en sachant que ces gens les haïssent au point de vouloir les exterminer comme peuple. N’importe qui d’autre dans la même situation se comporterait de la même manière. Je sais que c’est ce que je ferais et je ne suis pas près de m’en excuser. Israël est entouré d’ennemis et a plus intérêt à la paix que n’importe qui d’autre et c’est pour ça qu’il continue à faire des concessions. mais ce n’est pas l’intérêt des leaders palestiniens. La paix, c’est dernière chose qu’ils veulent. Ils ont besoin de maintenir la situation en ébullition, de maintenir leur peuple en colère dans le ressentiment et la haine des Juifs. La paix gâcherait tout parce qu’ils ne seront pas contents tant qu’Israël ne sera pas effacé de la carte et les Juifs jetés à la mer. Il faut que le monde arrête de faire comme si la question palestinienne était une question de justice et de droits de l’homme. Il faut qu’il ait le courage moral d’appeler les choses par leur nom et de mettre un point d’arrêt à cette comédie, cette danse sans fin autour d’une table de négociation qui n’existe pas. Il nous faut rendre aux Arabes le grand service de leur dire la vérité qu’ils ont si cruellement besoin d’entendre que leur haine est la cause de leur misère, qu’ils en sont devenus prisonniers, elle en est arrivée à définir leur véritable identité. Et tant qu’ils n’auront pas trouvé un moyen de libérer leurs coeurs de cette souillure, ils y resteront enchainés et ni eux ni leurs enfants ne seront jamais libres. Printemps arabe ou pas. (…) Combien de générations habitées par la haine pensez-vous qu’il faudra encore sacrifier ? Pat Condell

A l’heure où, coupé de la plupart de ses soutiens après le désastreux enlèvement et assassinat du mois dernier et ne pouvant même plus payer ses fonctionnaires, un Hamas aux abois a repris une fuite en avant qui pourrait finir un jour par lui être fatale …

Et où, terrés dans leurs abris sous-terrains et cachés derrière les boucliers humains de sa population écoles et mosquées comprises, ses leaders balancent à nouveau leurs roquettes à l’aveugle sur les villes israéliennes …

Pendant qu’aussi indécise que jamais et comme à son habitude, l’Administration Obama continue à souffler le chaud et le froid sur ses alliés y compris au moment même où Israël est la victime desdites roquettes …

Et qu’apparemment inconscients de la menace qui pèse sur leur propre territoire et sans compter nos faussaires patentés à la Enderlin ou Fandio, nos belles âmes et nos habituels idiots utiles du terrorisme ont repris comme à leur habitude leurs sempiternelles geigneries et imprécations contre la prétendue disproportion de la réaction israélienne …

Comment, avec l’humoriste britannique Pat Condell, ne pas s’étonner de cette incroyable conspiration du plus pur cynisme du côté arabe et de la plus atterrante hypocrisie ou naïveté du côté occidental …

Qui, décennie après décennie, continue à soutenir le "grand mensonge palestinien" ?

The Great Palestinian Lie
Pat Condell
Oct 11, 20111

Is it racist to criticize the Palestinians as the world’s most tiresome cry-babies with a bogus cause and a plight that’s entirely self-inflicted? I bet it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was against the law in certain European countries but I’m going to do it anyway because somebody has to. And I realize I’ll probably lose a few friends with this video but that’s okay. Friends like that, I can do without.

All any of us can do is tell the truth as we see it. I mean as we actually see it and not as we think we’re supposed to see it. The worst thing you can do is to see the truth and tell a lie and I see the Palestinian cause as a lie. A lie designed to exploit Western liberal guilt; like the lie of Islamophobia and the lie of the mythical religion of peace that nobody has ever seen in action.

I used to be a lot more critical of Israel and I used to believe there was a fairly simple two-state solution because I used to believe the Arabs were acting in good faith. I still want to believe that but the evidence tells me I’d be a fool to believe it. Because I’ve seen that every concession Israel makes is met with more demands and more excuses not to negotiate. They could have had peace ten times over if they wanted it. But they don’t want peace. They want victory. And they won’t be happy ‘til Israel is wiped from the map.

A member of Fatah Central Committee said as much on television recently but, as he said, they keep that to themselves and tell the rest of the world a different story. And as part of that story, the bogus claim for Palestinian statehood is currently passing through the United Nations and we’re all waiting to see what plops out the other end. Not that it really matters, because despite what the Palestinian public relations industry (i.e. the Western media) might tell you, this is not about territory and it certainly isn’t about justice or human rights because Arab societies don’t know the meaning of those words.

It’s about Jew hatred, as mandated by the Quran, and as preached in the mosques and taught to the children in Arab countries, day in and day out, generation after poisonous generation. The Arabs don’t hate Jews because of Israel. They hate Israel because of Jews.

The situation in the West Bank and Gaza exists because, 45 years ago, several Arab countries attacked Israel, unprovoked, with overwhelming odds, because it was a Jewish state. If it hadn’t been a Jewish state, they wouldn’t have attacked it. And they attacked with the intention of wiping it from the map and of committing genocide. But they failed because the Jews had a bit more steel in their blood than the Arabs had bargained for. And who could be surprised after all they had been through and after seeing how the rest of the world had responded to their plight.

Large numbers of Jews could have escaped the Nazis if they had somewhere else to go but other countries wouldn’t let them in. The mufti of Jerusalem at the time was a friend of Hitler’s and, good Muslim that he was, he approved of the Final Solution and had plans for his own holocaust in the Middle East, once the Nazis had won the war.

So who can blame the Israelis today for defending themselves as if they mean it? When they know they’re dealing with people they know they can’t trust and who they know hate them enough to want to exterminate them as a people. Anybody else in their situation would behave the same way. I know I would and I wouldn’t apologize for it.

Israel is surrounded by enemies. Peace is more in their interest than anyone else’s: which is why they keep making concessions. But it’s not in the interest of the Palestinian leadership. Peace is the last thing they want. They need to keep the pot boiling. They need to keep their people angry and resentful and hating Jews. Peace would ruin everything because they won’t be happy until Israel is wiped from the map and the Jews have been driven into the sea. If they really believe that’s going to happen, they’re insane. And if they don’t really believe it, they’re even more insane. Wouldn’t you say?

And all you good-hearted Western liberals who keep banging the drum for the poor Palestinians: I sympathize with you because you’re doing it for the right reason. But you’re being used and exploited just as the people in the West Bank and Gaza are being exploited by people who have no intention of negotiating peace because they’re driven, primarily, by crude, irrational, religious hatred.

When you protest for Palestine, you know you’ll be in the company of people who are calling for Jews to be gassed. Do you think that’s an accident? You’re dealing with something here beyond politics and beyond reason. Something truly ugly that drives a spike through all your cozy left/right assumptions and your naivety is helping to stoke it like bellows to a fire.

The world needs to stop pretending that Palestine is about justice and human rights and have the moral courage to call this thing what it is: to put a stop to this charade, this endless dance around a nonexistent negotiating table. We need to do the Arabs a huge favor and tell them the truth they so badly need to hear: that their hatred is the cause of their misery. They’ve become prisoners of it. It has come to define their very identity and until they can find a way to remove this ugly stain from their hearts, they’ll always be chained to it. And they and their children will never be free: Arab Spring or no Arab Spring.

Peace . . . how many wasted generations of hate do you think it will take?

Voir aussi:

Le Hamas plus isolé que jamais
Décapité en Cisjordanie, après la mort de trois jeunes Israéliens, et aux abois à Gaza, où il a rendu le pouvoir, le mouvement palestinien est en crise.
Le Point
01/07/2014 à 17:11

Décapité en Cisjordanie, après l’enlèvement meurtrier de trois jeunes Israéliens, et aux abois à Gaza, où il a officiellement rendu le pouvoir, le Hamas se retrouve encore plus isolé qu’avant la réconciliation avec le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas, selon des experts. "Le Hamas est responsable et le Hamas paiera", a affirmé lundi soir le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou, peu après la découverte des corps des trois jeunes Israéliens enlevés dans un bloc de colonies en Cisjordanie occupée le 12 juin. Le Hamas a nié être impliqué dans le rapt mais a salué l’opération, imputée par Israël à deux de ses membres qu’elle recherche toujours à Hébron. Le mouvement palestinien a averti que "si les occupants se lan(çaient) dans une guerre ou une escalade, ils ouvrir(aient) les portes de l’enfer".

Selon Ghazi Hammad, un haut responsable du mouvement, "toutes les options sont envisageables et le Hamas prend au sérieux les menaces d’Israël. Mais il ne cherche pas l’affrontement, la balle est dans le camp d’Israël". "La découverte des corps a été un choc pour Israël et a révélé une faille, c’est pourquoi Israël veut se venger et en faire payer le prix au Hamas, quelle que soit sa responsabilité", a-t-il déclaré. Le chef en exil du Hamas, Khaled Mechaal, a assuré le 23 juin que la direction politique du mouvement n’avait aucune information sur le rapt, mais a dit "soutenir tout acte de résistance contre l’occupation israélienne, qui doit payer pour sa tyrannie". Cette prise de distance avec l’enlèvement permettra au mouvement islamiste d'"atténuer" le choc de la riposte israélienne, estime Walid al-Moudallal, professeur de sciences politiques à l’Université islamique de Gaza. "Mais le Hamas ne restera pas silencieux s’il est visé. Il se battra si sa survie est en jeu", prévient-il.

"Balle dans le pied"

Selon le correspondant militaire du quotidien israélien Yediot Aharonot, la responsabilité du Hamas est engagée, les ravisseurs ayant sans doute agi, sinon sur ordre, conformément à la ligne fixée par la direction du mouvement. Après son "annus horribilis" dû au renversement par l’armée en Égypte du président islamiste Mohamed Morsi en juillet 2013, "le Hamas fondait ses espoirs sur le gouvernement de réconciliation palestinien, sa proximité croissante avec l’Occident et sur le monde arabe, principalement l’Égypte", écrit Alex Fishman, mais avec l’enlèvement "il s’est tiré une balle dans le pied". À la suite de l’enlèvement, l’armée israélienne a arrêté 420 Palestiniens en Cisjordanie, dont 305 membres du Hamas, parmi lesquels de nombreux dirigeants et députés du mouvement.

Depuis la découverte des corps lundi, "le Hamas ne veut pas seulement donner à Israël un prétexte pour attaquer, il l’invite même à attaquer pendant le ramadan", estime le commentateur israélien, afin de "détourner l’attention de ce ramadan morose sur l’ennemi qui a gâché la fête : Israël". Il souligne l’amertume soulevée par la perte d’emploi et de salaire des quelque 40 000 ex-fonctionnaires du Hamas depuis la formation, le 2 juin, d’un gouvernement de consensus composé de personnalités indépendantes, commun à Gaza et à la Cisjordanie. Signe de cette rancoeur, dans la nuit de lundi à mardi, des hommes masqués ont incendié des caméras de surveillance de banques et des distributeurs automatiques de billets à Gaza.

Étranglé par le blocus israélien de la bande de Gaza et la fermeture de la frontière avec l’Égypte, le Hamas a accepté la réconciliation aux conditions de Mahmoud Abbas afin d’assurer sa survie à terme, au prix d’un abandon du pouvoir sur l’enclave palestinienne, d’après les commentateurs. Mais Moussa Abou Marzouk, le responsable du Hamas chargé du dossier de la réconciliation avec le mouvement Fatah du président palestinien, a accusé dimanche Mahmoud Abbas d’avoir abandonné Gaza à son sort, malgré l’accord de réconciliation. "Aujourd’hui, je crains que le Hamas ne soit invité à revenir pour protéger la sécurité de son peuple, la bande de Gaza ne vivra pas dans le vide. Or, elle n’est ni sous la responsabilité du gouvernement précédent ni sous celle du gouvernement d’entente nationale", a écrit Moussa Abou Marzouk sur sa page Facebook.

Voir également:

La peur de l’extrémisme grandit dans les pays musulmans
Libération/AFP
2 juillet 2014

SONDAGE
L’Institut américain Pew a interrogé plus de 14 200 personnes dans 14 pays, dont le Nigeria, en proie aux attaques de Boko Haram.

La peur d’un extrémisme islamiste grandit dans les pays majoritairement musulmans du Proche-Orient jusqu’en Asie du Sud, selon un sondage publié mardi aux Etats-Unis. Cette crainte s’est développée depuis un an, du fait de la guerre en Syrie qui continue de faire rage et à laquelle participent des mouvements islamistes, et des attaques meurtrières du mouvement nigérian Boko Haram, relève l’institut américain Pew qui a interrogé plus de 14 200 personnes dans 14 pays musulmans.

Les mouvements islamistes comme Al-Qaeda, le Hezbollah, Boko Haram ou le Hamas, perdent aussi des soutiens. Et le nombre de personnes favorables aux attentats suicide contre des civils a considérablement diminué ces dix dernières années.

Le sondage a été réalisé du 10 avril au 25 mai, soit avant l’offensive fulgurante lancée le 9 juin de l’Etat islamique en Irak et en Levant (EIIL), qui se fait appeler Etat islamique (EI), dans le nord et le centre de l’Irak.

Au Liban, frontalier de la Syrie, 92% des personnes interrogées disent avoir peur de la montée de l’extrémisme islamiste, un chiffre en hausse de 11 points par rapport à 2013, réparti à quasi égalité entre communautés chiites, sunnites, et chrétiennes du pays.

53% des Palestiniens défavorables au Hamas

L’inquiétude grandit aussi en Jordanie et en Turquie, deux pays également frontaliers de la Syrie, qui accueillent des milliers de réfugiés depuis le début du conflit en mars 2011. Quelque 62% des Jordaniens expriment leur inquiétude à propos de l’extrémisme islamiste, en hausse de 13 points par rapport à 2012. En Turquie, 50% partagent cette crainte, un chiffre en hausse de 18 points par rapport à 2012.

«En Asie, de fortes majorités au Bangladesh (69%), au Pakistan (66%) et en Malaisie (63%) s’inquiètent de l’extrémisme islamiste», selon Pew. Ce chiffre est cependant beaucoup moins élevé en Indonésie, un des pays musulmans les plus peuplés, avec 40% des habitants qui sont inquiets.

Une majorité de Nigérians (79%) disent leur opposition à Boko Haram, qui a enlevé en avril quelque 200 jeunes filles, tandis que 59% des Pakistanais affirment détester les talibans.

Une majorité de Palestiniens (53%) ont une opinion défavorable du Hamas, qu’Israël tient pour responsable de l’enlèvement et du meurtre de trois adolescents. Ce chiffre atteint 63% dans la bande de Gaza. Seuls 46% des Palestiniens considèrent les attentats suicide comme justifiés contre des civils, contre 70% en 2007.
AFP

Voir encore:

ANALYSIS: Stunned by Israel’s fierce response, Hamas sends distress signals
Khaled Abu Toameh
Jerusalem Post
07/09/2014

Hamas apparently expected a limited response to the recent rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns; The organization is concerned the IDF’s operation could be the end to Hamas’s rule over the Gaza Strip.

Despite fiery statements issued by Hamas spokesmen over the past 48 hours, it was obvious Tuesday night that the Islamist movement was searching for ways to rid itself of the current escalation.

Hamas feels that it has been forced into a confrontation with Israel – one that it did not want at this stage because of its increased isolation and financial crisis.

The massive Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours have surprised Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Hamas apparently expected a limited response to the recent rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns. But as the IDF intensified its strikes against Hamas targets – including the homes of some of its top commanders – it became clear to the movement’s leaders that Israel means business.

On Tuesday night, Hamas spokesmen were sending distress signals to various parties. The organization is concerned that if the IDF operation continues for another few days, the movement will pay a very heavy price – one that could even bring about an end to Hamas’s rule over the Gaza Strip.

Hamas accused Israel of “crossing all the redlines” by bombing the homes of its military commanders. This shows that Hamas did not expect Israel to take such a drastic move. Less than 24 hours after the beginning of the IDF offensive, Hamas talked about the need to return to the truce that was reached with Israel in 2012.

A spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, listed this demand as part of his movement’s effort to end the current confrontation. The spokesman called for an end to the IDF crackdown on Hamas members in the West Bank, which began after the abduction and murder of three Israeli youths last month.

On Tuesday night, Hamas and other Palestinian groups appealed to Egypt and Arab countries to intervene to stop the IDF operation. Given Hamas’s bad relations with the Egyptian authorities, it’s unlikely that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would rush to save the movement that is openly aligned with his enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Palestinian Authority, which has condemned the Israeli “aggression,” is also unlikely to make a big effort to save Hamas from destruction. In fact, President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction would be happy to see Hamas severely defeated.

Hamas is beginning to feel the heat and that’s why its leaders, who have gone into hiding, are seeking an “honorable” way out of the confrontation, which, they say, they didn’t want to begin with.

Voir de plus:

Security source: Hamas started this escalation to improve its poor situation
Yaakov Lappin
Jerusalem Post
07/09/2014

After poor results from the kidnapping, Hamas is seeking to achieve an accomplishment.

Hamas initiated the latest round of fighting to try and alleviate the distress it has found itself in recent months, a senior security source said on Tuesday.

In the West Bank, the organization’s position has been damaged by the army’s response to the kidnap and murder of three Israeli youths in June, which resulted in the arrest of hundreds of Hamas members, and raids on weapons caches and against its civilian and economic networks.

In the Gaza Strip, too, the Islamist movement is feeling increased pressure, the source said.

As a result, Hamas is “seeking to achieve an accomplishment,” he said. “Hamas had high expectations two months ago. It had just joined a Palestinian unity government [with Fatah]. Now, it finds itself in a poor situation. It has gotten poor results from the kidnapping, its position in terms of Palestinian security prisoners has worsened [due to the arrest of hundreds of Hamas members last month], and its sovereignty in Gaza has sustained blows,” he continued.

“Hamas is under pressure, and this has caused it to begin shooting [rockets and mortars].

Its status among the public [in the Strip] is also problematic.

In the middle of Ramadan, it has no good news to offer Palestinians recently,” the source said.

Hamas has been directly and indirectly orchestrating the growing rocket salvos from Gaza, which reached a peak on Monday night, when many dozens of rockets were launched within an hour.

“Hamas will always want to be the one that fires the last rocket, and to be able to claim that Israel is deterred. For its part, Israel will gradually increase the scope of its military operation, to obtain deterrence and damage Hamas,” the source said.

Voir aussi:

Faux Fairness at The New York Times
Tamar Sternthal
Times of Israel
July 8, 2014

It’s no wonder then that The Times says it places a premium on fairness, a laudable journalistic value. Its Standards and Ethics guidelines state: “The goal of The New York Times is to cover the news as impartially as possible – ‘without fear or favor,’ in the words of Adolph Ochs, our patriarch.”

Maybe that’s why editors habitually issue a pro-forma condemnation of both Israelis and Palestinians – before it proceeds to single out Israel for real or perceived wrongdoings, while downplaying or ignoring foul play on the other side. Today’s editorial (“Four Horrific Killings”) follows the familiar formula. First, the blanket exhortation to both sides: “It is the responsibility of leaders on both sides to try and calm the volatile emotions that once again threaten both peoples.”

After inserting additional background information (including an egregious factual error about the Israeli prime minister), The Times tackles its real beef. Editors provide a detailed litany of Israeli misdoings, followed by a perfunctory reference to “Hamas’s violence” and unidentified Palestinian “hateful speech”:

After the attack on the Israeli teenagers, some Israelis gave in to their worst prejudices. During funerals for the boys, hundreds of extreme right-wing protesters blocked roads in Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs.” A Facebook page named ‘People of Israel Demand Revenge’ gathered 35,000 ‘likes’ before being taken down; a blogger gave prominence to a photo, also on Facebook, that featured a sign saying: “Hating Arabs is not racism, it’s values.” Even Mr. Netanyahu referenced an Israeli poem that reads: “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.” Israelis have long had to cope with Hamas’s violence, including a recent increase in rocket attacks from Gaza. And Palestinians have been fully guilty of hateful speech against Jews.

While readers are treated to a four specific examples of Israelis succumbing to their worst prejudices, The Times does not identify even one single case of recent Palestinian incitement, of which there is no shortage. Palestinians celebrated the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaar and Naphtali Frankel with a social media campaign called “The Three Shalits” which went viral; hateful cartoons in a Palestinian Authority-controlled newspaper and on the Fatah Facebook page; and the distribution of sweets in Gaza. In recent days, Fatah, headed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, warned Israelis to prepare body bags and declared “We wish for the blood to become rivers.”

After the grossly lopsided accounting, in which The Times deems examples of heated rhetoric worthy of specific mention only when uttered by Israelis, the “Paper of Record” reverts to its faux fairness, describing “an atmosphere in which each side dehumanizes the other.” The editorial closes with its formulaic parity: “These deaths should cause the two communities to think again about the need for a permanent peace, but the loss of four young men may not be motivation enough.”

Subtitled “Can Israeli and Palestinian Leaders End the Revenge Attacks?”, the editorial ought to have been particularly precise in reporting the leaders’ respective words and deeds. And, yet, the author/s grossly erred: “On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, after days of near silence, condemned that killing and promised that anyone found guilty would ‘face the full weight of the law.’”

Netanyahu did not remain silent for days concerning the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. The Israeli prime minister spoke out against the killing of Abu Kheir from July 2, the very same day of the murder. As The Times’ own Isabel Kershner reported: “On Wednesday, after the body of the Palestinian teenager was found in the woods, the prime minister called on Israelis to obey the law, and asked investigators to quickly look into what he called ‘the abominable murder.’”

Netanyahu again denounced the murder Thursday, July 3 at the home of American Ambassador Daniel Shapiro during the July 4th celebration. As CNN reported:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Thursday to find the perpetrators responsible for the boy’s killing, an act Netanyahu described as “a despicable crime.”

Netanyahu made the comment during a speech at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv where he and Israeli President Shimon Peres attended the annual July 4 Independence Day party.

Given that The Times editorial writer did not accurately report events recorded last week in the paper’s own news pages, it’s unsurprising that s/he trips up on a Hebrew poem written more than a century ago.

Thus, The Times’ cites Netanyahu’s recitation of a line from Chaim Nachman Bialik’s poem “The Slaughter” as an indication that, he, like the crowds chanting “Death to Arabs” also gave in to his “worst prejudices.” In fact, Bialik’s lines, and Netanyahu’s quotation of them, are widely understood as a call for heavenly justice and a rejection of human vengeance for the killing of a small child. The full stanza in question and the preceding stanza (in translation), which Bialik wrote in response to the Kishinev pogrom) are:

And if there is justice – let it show
itself at once! But if justice show itself
after I have been blotted out from
beneath the skies – let its throne be
hurled down forever! Let heaven rot
with eternal evil! And you, the arrogant,
go in this violence of yours, live by
your bloodshed and be cleansed by it.

And cursed be the man who says:
Avenge! No such revenge – revenge for
the blood of a little child – has yet been
devised by Satan. Let the blood pierce
through the abyss! Let the blood seep
down into the depths of darkness, and
eat away there, in the dark, and breach
all the rotting foundations of the earth.

If there is fairness at The New York Times editorial page — let it show itself at once!

Voir de même:

Un haut responsable américain critique Israël
« Comment Israël peut-il avoir la paix s’il ne veut pas délimiter une frontière, arrêter l’occupation ? » a demandé le chef de la Maison Blanche pour le Proche-Orient, Philipp Gordon dans un discours cinglant à Tel Aviv
Raphael Ahren
Times of Israel
9 juillet 2014
Raphael Ahren est le correspondant diplomatique du Times of Israel

« L’occupation actuelle de la Cisjordanie par Israël est mal et conduit à une instabilité régionale et à une déshumanisation des Palestiniens », a déclaré mardi à Tel Aviv un haut responsable du gouvernement américain.

Au cours d’une déclaration de politique étrangère inhabituelle et dure, Philipp Gordon, assistant spécial du président américain Barack Obama et coordinateur de la Maison Blanche pour le Moyen-Orient, a appelé les dirigeants israéliens et palestiniens à faire les compromis nécessaires pour obtenir un accord de paix permanent.

Jérusalem « ne devrait pas prendre pour acquis la possibilité de négocier » un tel traité avec l’Autorité palestinienne du président Mahmoud Abbas, qui s’est révélé être un partenaire fiable, a déclaré Gordon.

« Israël fait face à une réalité indéniable : il ne peut pas maintenir un contrôle militaire sur un autre peuple indéfiniment. Faire ainsi est non seulement mal, mais c’est aussi une recette pour créer du ressentiment et une instabilité récurrente, a déclaré Gordon. Cela renforce les extrémistes de deux côtés, cela déchire la tissu démocratique israélien et nourrit une deshumanisation mutuelle ».

Faisant son discours à la Conférence israélienne pour la Paix du journal Haaretz, Gordon a réitéré la position d’Obama qu’un accord final devrait être basé sur les frontières de 1967 avec des échanges de terre mutuellement acceptés.

L’administration est consciente qu’Israël doit faire face à des menaces sur plusieurs fronts et Obama reste impliqué pour la sécurité d’Israël, a-t-il déclaré, en s’exprimant le jour où Israël a lancé son l’opération Bordure protectrice pour contrer les tirs de roquettes de la bande de Gaza contrôlée par le Hamas. Juste quelques instants plus tard, les participants à la conférence ont dû aller courir se mettre à l’abri après qu’une alerte ait signalé l’approche d’un missile sur Tel Aviv.

« Les Etats-Unis soutiendront toujours Israël. Nous combattons pour Israël tous les jours aux Nations Unies », a-t-il déclaré. Pourtant, en tant que meilleur ami et plus puissant soutien d’Israël, Washington doit pouvoir poser certaines questions fondamentales, a-t-il dit.

Gordon a poursuivi son discours : « Comment Israël restera-t-il démocratique et juif s’il essaie de gouverner les millions d’arabes palestiniens qui vivent en Cisjordanie ? Comment aura-t-il la paix s’il ne veut pas délimiter une frontière, mettre un terme à l’occupation et permettre une souveraineté, une sécurité et une dignité palestinienne ? Comment empêcherons nous d’autres états de soutenir les efforts palestiniens dans la communauté internationale, si Israël n’est pas perçu comme impliqué pour la paix ? »

L’administration a été déçue que les dernières tentatives de négociations de paix organisées par les Etats-Unis aient échoué et qu’actuellement « nous nous trouvons dans une situation délicate », a souligné Gordon.

« D’un côté, nous n’avons aucun intérêt à un jeu de critique. La difficile réalité est qu’aucune des parties n’a préparé leurs populations ou s’est montrée prête à prendre les décisions difficiles pour un accord. La confiance s’est effritée des deux côtés. Jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit restaurée, aucune des deux parties ne sera probablement prête à prendre des risques pour la paix, même s’ils vivent avec les terribles conséquences qui résultent de cette absence ».

Les « dernières semaines » montrent que l’incapacité de résoudre le conflit israélo-palestinien « implique inévitablement plus de tensions, plus de ressentiment, plus d’injustice, plus d’insécurité, plus de tragédie et plus de peine », a-t-il dit. « La vue de familles en deuil, aussi bien israélienne que palestinienne, nous rappelle que le coût du conflit demeure insupportablement haut ».

Dans son discours de 25 minutes, la première intervention d’un haut responsable de la Maison Blanche directement au peuple israélien depuis le discours de mars 2013 d’Obama a Jérusalem, Gordon a rejeté toutes les autres alternatives à la solution de deux états. Il a appelé le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu à rependre les pourparlers de paix avec l’Autorité palestinienne, en suggérant qu’Abbas était le meilleur dirigeant palestinien que Jérusalem pouvait espérer. « Israël ne devrait pas prendre pour acquis la possibilité de négocier une telle paix avec Abbas qui a montré a plusieurs reprises qu’il était impliqué pour la non violence, la coexistence et la coopération avec Israël ».

A un moment de son discours, Gordon semblait contredire directement une déclaration faite par Netanyahu la semaine dernière concernant les besoins de sécurité d’Israël vis-à-vis sa frontière est.

Se référant aux discussions que le général américain à la retraire John Allen avait tenu avec des officiers de l’armée israélienne concernant les moyens de sécuriser la frontière israélienne avec la Jordanie, Gordon a expliqué que les plans d’Allen prennent en compte « une série d’éventualités, y compris des menaces grandissantes que nous percevons au Moyen-Orient ». Allen évoquait probablement les gains territoriaux effectués lors des récentes semaines par le groupe terroriste radical l’Etat Islamique, anciennement connu comme ISIL ou ISIS.

« Les démarches discutées créeraient une des frontières les plus sure du monde de deux côtés du Jourdain, a expliqué Gordon. En développant une couche de défense qui inclut un renforcement significatif des barrières des deux côtés de la frontière, en s’assurant du nombre adéquat de soldats au sol, en déployant la technologie de dernier cri, un programme global de test rigoureux, nous pouvons rendre la frontière sure contre n’importe quel type de menace conventionnelle ou non conventionnelle, des terroristes individuels aux forces armées conventionnelles ».

Le 29 juin, Netanyahu avait déclaré que l’un des défis centraux pour la sécurité d’Israël était de « stabiliser la zone ouest de ligne de sécurité du Jourdain ». Dans cette partie de la Cisjordanie, le Premier ministre a déclaré « aucune autre force que notre armée et nos services de sécurité ne peut garantir la sécurité d’Israël… Qui sait ce qui l’avenir nous réserve ? La vague de l’ISIS pourrait rapidement être redirigée contre la Jordanie », a-t-il déclaré lors d’une conférence à Tel Aviv.

Israël devrait donc maintenir un contrôle sécuritaire à long terme du territoire le long du Jourdain quel que soit l’accord avec les Palestiniens, a déclaré le Premier ministre. « L’évacuation des forces israéliennes mènerait directement à l’effondrement de l’Autorité palestinienne et à la montée en puissance de forces islamiques radicales, comme cela a été le cas à Gaza. Cela mettrait sérieusement Israël en danger ».

Dans son discours à l’hôtel David Intercontinental de Tel Aviv, Gordon a également évoqué la pluie de roquettes qui s’abat sur Israël depuis la bande de Gaza contrôlée par le Hamas. « Les Etats-Unis condamnent fermement ces attaques.

« Aucun pays ne devrait vivre sous la menace constante d’une violence hasardeuse contre des civils innocents », a rappelé Gordon, dont l’administration avait été fortement critiquée par le gouvernement israélien pour avoir accepté de travailler rapidement avec le nouveau gouvernement d’unité soutenu par le Hamas qui avait été établi le mois dernier.

L’administration soutient le droit d’Israël à se défendre contre ces attaques, a-t-il ajouté. « En même temps, nous apprécions l’appel du Premier ministre Netanyahu à agir responsablement, et nous appelons à notre tour les deux parties à faire tout ce qu’elles peuvent pour ramener le calme et protéger les civils ».

Voir enfin:

Les cibles du jihadiste : la tour Eiffel, le Louvre, les festivals…

Élisabeth Fleury

Le Parisien

09.07.2014

Sur le site Islamiste Shoumouk al-Islam, Ali M. s’appelait Abu Naji. Sous ce pseudo, à l’aide d’un logiciel de cryptage et sur une messagerie spécialement dédiée, cet Algérien de 29 ans, marié et père de deux enfants, a élaboré pendant un an des projets d’attentats en France avec l’un des plus hauts responsables d’Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), alias Redouane18.

Découverts à la suite de l’arrestation d’AliM. il y a un an, ces messages ont été décryptés. Leur lecture fait froid dans le dos. Installé dans le Vaucluse où il travaillait dans une boucherie halal, Ali M., qui s’apprêtait à rejoindre un maquis dans le Sud algérien, serait-il passé à l’acte ? « Il a vécu son arrestation comme un soulagement », indique en tout cas son avocate, Me Daphné Pugliesi.

Sélectionner des cibles
Le 1er avril 2013, AbuNaji est prié de faire parvenir « quelques suggestions relatives à l’orientation à donner à l’activité du jihad à l’endroit où [il se] trouve ». Dès le lendemain, dans un long mail, il s’exécute. « L’objectif qui mérite d’être visé s’avère la population française modeste et paupérisée », écrit-il. Ces futures victimes fréquentent les bars, les marchés, « certaines petites localités et les boîtes de nuit », poursuit-il. Soucieux de préserver les musulmans, Abu Naji suggère notamment d’éviter les centres commerciaux. Les patrouilles de police et de gendarmerie, en revanche, peuvent faire l’objet d’embuscades. De même les centrales d’électricité nucléaire ou encore « les avions au moment du décollage » peuvent être ciblés.

Abu Naji évoque les monuments historiques et énumère, à ce titre, « la tour Eiffel et le musée du Louvre ». Sans citer nommément le Festival d’Avignon, il parle des «manifestations culturelles qui ont lieu dans des villes du sud de la France au cours desquelles des milliers de chrétiens se rassemblent pendant un mois ». « Les artères deviennent noires de monde et une simple grenade peut blesser des dizaines de personnes, détaille-t-il. Je vous laisse imaginer si c’est un engin piégé. »

Constituer un réseau dormant
Visiblement satisfait par la réponse d’Abu Naji, Redouane18 veut à présent tester ses capacités de recruteur. « Est-ce que tu peux disposer d’un contact avec des frères qui auraient eux-mêmes des contacts avec nos frères dans le grand Sud saharien ? » demande-t-il le 6 avril ? Dans un message daté du 18 avril, Abu Naji évoque un « frère de Bel Abbes » et plusieurs autres « désireux de rejoindre l’Organisation ». « Combien sont-ils ? Où résident-ils ? Savent-ils manier des armes ? Ont-ils fait l’objet des poursuites de la part des Tyrans », demande aussitôt son interlocuteur.

Réponse prudente d’Abu Naji : « des frères, il y en a légion, mais je ne sais pas si tous veulent faire le jihad. » Une semaine plus tard, Redouane18 invite Abu Naji et son « frère de Bel Abbes » à rejoindre ses troupes sur place, pour une dizaine de jours, « afin de bénéficier auprès des frères d’une formation militaire et d’un entraînement dans les techniques de combat ». Redouane18 précise : « A la suite de cela, vous retournerez dans le pays où vous résidez et vous attendrez les instructions. »

Partir s’entraîner
Redouane18 est clair : il n’attend aucune aide financière de la part de sa nouvelle recrue. « Nous ne sommes pas dans le besoin quand il s’agit de gérer nos activités », écritil à Abu Naji le 18 avril 2013. « Nous attendons de toi que tu mettes en place un réseau dont tu seras le dirigeant sous la bannière de l’Organisation », poursuit-il. La mission assignée à Abu Naji consistera, dans un premier temps, à « faire des repérages d’objectifs et à collecter des renseignements ». Dans un deuxième temps, « il te sera nécessaire de venir nous rencontrer en vue de planifier ensemble le projet ». Ali M. étant dans le collimateur des autorités algériennes, ses interlocuteurs lui suggèrent de passer par la Tunisie.

« Le plus important à retenir est que je vous annonce que, grâce à Dieu, je suis fin prêt et bien paré », écrit Abu Naji le 1er mai, déterminé à venir participer aux entraînements. Le 17 juin, il a son billet. « J’arriverai dans la capitale tunisienne le 22 juillet », se réjouit-il. Huit jours après ce message, il sera arrêté. « Seule l’interpellation d’Ali M. quelques semaines avant la date effective du déplacement a empêché son départ en Algérie », indique, sur PV, un officier de la Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (DGSI).

COMPLEMENT:

Correction: July 10, 2014

An editorial on Tuesday about the death of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem referred incorrectly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. On the day of the killing, Mr. Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying he had told his minister for internal security to quickly investigate the crime; it is not the case that “days of near silence” passed before he spoke about it.

NYT


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